For many election cycles now, third party voters have been accused of swinging close races. Such was the case in the 2016 presidential election, when a mere 3 million votes separated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and 4 million voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
In fact, third party candidates have themselves been accused of running with the sole purpose of playing the spoiler role. Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld boldly professed support for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race, raising many red flags about the ticket’s intentions. In a close gubernatorial race in Virginia in 2013, it was reported that an Obama campaign bundler gave a large sum of money to the Libertarian Party ticket. The Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli lost to Terry McAuliffe by just 2.5% of the vote. The Libertarian candidate, Robert Sarvis, received 6.5%. A week ago, President Trump even accused Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly of paying for ads for the Libertarian ticket in Indiana.
The same questions about third parties still remain today during the midterm elections, and a leader inside the Libertarian Party may have given us an answer.
Michael Heise, the founder of the Libertarian Party Mises Caucus, stated online today, “I hope we do ‘spoil’ some elections and force people like you to the table, or accept more losing.” Elaborating on his statement, Heise said, “Im saying it doesnt matter which one wins because its all generally the same. So if we ‘spoil’ some elections one way or the other that is good leverage for us to lean on the loser. If that happens to be Rs than so be it. Get better candidates that care about liberty and take responsibility for your suck.” One member of Heise’s caucus, Joshua Smith, sits aboard the Libertarian National Committee.
As the party urges Americans to vote for Libertarian tickets today, many questions will still remain about the role of third parties in this country, and perhaps Heise’s answer will provide some clarity.
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