Talk:Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Election Results

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Splitting

Would it be better to split this up by decade? 1972 - 1979, 1980 - 1989, etc

That might work. I still can't rule out the possibility of pre-1972 gubernatorial or senate candidates in NY or FL. NY had two elected Libertarians in 1971 before the Committee to Form a Libertarian Party had pulled the trigger at the national level. -- Strangelv 16:53, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

Secondary Uses

My hope is to use this and the US Senate chart (and any others that are made) to put together spreadsheets to feed into User:AutoBio. Put together the sheet with what can be found on a bunch of people (one person per row) and instant articles. Admittedly it doesn't presently have the ability for succession boxes. I should probably figure out a good way to do that. -- Strangelv 17:19, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

US Representative was what I was working on after US Senate. Figured I'd finish off the federal stuff before doing anything else. I've only gone through 1972 - 1978 so far, so it'll be a while.
My notes that I'm able to find for US Congress to not appear to be systematic -- I was working on how to do that from PDFs on the FEC site, but what I'm finding is what I was able to put together before finding that. Maybe if I can find time I should start from 2014 or so and work backwards?
I must admit that federal is a lot easier to find than most levels. Especially after going below statewide races. There's a few races I've documented that would probably be lost to time if someone hadn't remembered it and told me about it. We probably need a set of questions to grill some of our longest serving party members about while we still have enough of them who are healthy enough to ask. Several are in the Facebook Libertarian Party History group.
Right now I'm up to 2004 or so with governors using Wikipedia for a source. I must admit that between this and US Senate I'm gaining a new perspective on how precarious our ballot access is. 8\ -- Strangelv 17:18, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Are you in a rush? If not, I'll finish Congress. Once I get up to the late 1980's I start cross checking with old issues of Ballot Access News to look for Independent and Write In candidates. BAN also does Governors. It often doesn't use the certified election results, though, so if you use it, just use it to find candidates and get the results somewhere else, if possible.

That Other Wiki

I've been wondering what's missing from Wikipedia as I go over this, then I run into the 2010 article where not a single LP candidate is listed on the chart even though I know we had several. Obviously, I need to spend more tike looking for sources. -- Strangelv 17:53, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia has become overrun with sheeple who care more about following and arguing over its internal rules than with providing accurate information. But its traffic can and should be exploited for the benefit of the LP.
In 2012 I somehow ended up as the Connecticut co-director for the Gary Johnson campaign. That was my first time running a campaign and my first time being involved with a Libertarian campaign. I had to learn a lot by trial and error on the job. Every single person involved with the state party at the time, myself included, was in their 20's or 30's. None of us had much experience to draw on.
When it was over, there was so much very obvious background work to be done that, either no one had done for the last 35 years, or some former party officials have it and it was just never passed on when they stopped being actively involved in the party.
One of the questions that needed answering was: are there any natural libertarian “hot spots” in the state? If we could have identified those and spent, say, $2,000 advertising there, maybe we could have boosted our vote percentage by just 0.20%. That would have put us over the 1% threshold needed to retain ballot access. And then we wouldn't have to spend $40,000 and countless hours on petitioning in 2016.
So I went through all 130+ races with a Libertarian candidate listed on the CT SOTS web site. I recorded the results at the town level, and sub-town level when possible. Then I made a map. And doing all that, I learned several things:
1. Yes, there are libertarian “hot spots” in the state.
2. Most places in the state have never seen a Libertarian candidate except for federal and statewide races, where we tend to do poorly.
3. Federal races aside, most of the time when we lose ballot access it isn't because we failed to hit the 1% threshold. It's because we didn't bother running a candidate in the following election. Even the General Assembly district where a CT LP candidate flat out beat both his Republican and Democratic opponents in one town of a two town district (and getting 26% overall in that 3 way race) has been abandoned. There have been 7 General Assembly elections since then and the LP hasn't participated in any of them.
4. If a party's candidate for Governor gets 1%, the party automatically gains ballot access to every office across the state for the next 4 years. Other than the Republicans and Democrats, several parties in CT have done this in recent decades. The LP has only attempted to run for Governor twice in its history. That seems like deliberate incompetence. Not wanting to go through the petitioning process is one of the major obstacles keeping candidates away and having a spot reserved for LP candidates on every ballot would provided some level of legitimacy to the party.
5. There are an astonishing number of significant errors in the official election returns which can only be found by going town-by-town. I saw a town list Ed Clark on the ballot twice – once in a place that should have gone to another party – and then the town counted that second line towards the other party even though people thought they were voting for Clark/Koch. Three towns in 2012 recorded 0 votes for Gary Johnson and our US Senate candidate, even though the early results from those towns showed a few hundred votes. I asked the CT SOTS about that and she admitted there were votes for LP candidates in those towns, but someone screwed up when entering the final results and they couldn't be changed after the results were certified. There were many, many errors. And all I could see were the obvious ones. A simple transposition of numbers would never be noticed. And if I see this many for the 135 LP candidates, how many mistakes have been made in the thousands of Republicans and Democratic candidates?
I put some of the election data on the CT LP wikipedia page and while I was doing that I noticed that wikipedia provided daily page view statistics back to December, 2007. In looking at the daily page views for the year 2012, I saw some weird, scattered spikes. A google search for those days showed why: an article about an LP candidate was published in a major newspaper, our Congressional candidate participated in a debate, etc. People saw the candidate in the news or on TV and then ran to the state LP wikipedia page for more information. That information wasn't there. The page had been a stub in 2012. There were big spikes every October and November. People were looking to see if we were running any candidates in October and others looked in November for the results. None of that had been there.
Most state wikipedia pages are stubs. California doesn't even have one. We're only talking about a few thousand annual page views in each state, but given the state of the party, we can't afford not to cover all bases. This is an almost universal failure of state chairs and communications directors across the country.
On the bright side, I'm now seeing lpedia on page 1 or page 2 of google search results. So, there's that.
Many thanks for that infodump! This helps explain a problem I'm seeing with several states and lack of followup. In Texas we have someone or a team or a committee or department actively trying to find candidates every election cycle as we head towards the filing deadline. In states where petitions are required maybe there should probably be a permanent petitioning department to at least coordinate things so that we have candidates to consider nominating (Admittedly, doing this uniformly probably means that this will include spending resources on candidates who are not going to beat NOTA for the nomination).
Maybe LPTexas needs to put together a guide of best practices to share with other states? Something that would probably be missing from such a guide: Make sure your state committee is structured in such a way that it's almost impossible for any faction (intraparty or outright hostile non-libertarian takeover as happened to Florida in the 1980s) to seize and maintain control of it. The LNC is an example of a body that is too easy to gain and hold onto control of. Texas fended off an effort that would have made ours easier to seize control of. The State Libertarian Executive Committee has a theoretical size of 66 people (I believe our largest actual size was 54 people): two per state senate district (31 state senate districts) and four officers. The state senate districts, while gerrymandered (not too blatantly, fortunately), are absolutely not designed to manipulate the SLEC. Plus they're proportional in terms of population and we didn't have to do the work or trust someone in our party who might want control of the state party. Also, the membership of the SLEC is the first place that the SLEC looks for people to do things, and it's usually at least 30 or so people who can at least theoretically be tapped without even looking outside of the meeting room.
Yes, LPedia has had pretty high pagerank for quite some time. It's another reason to try to make sure we can keep garbage from accumulating (we're a high profile target) so we can maintain it. ...And another reason I'd really like to get you an account. So in a pinch you could get rid of anything that's accumulating if I'm indisposed and WHUMP isn't running and no one else has noticed.
Our high pagerank is another reason to try to keep up with our state party pages here -- but I'm not able to do it singlehandedly. My failed attempts at doing so are sometimes the only edits a page has had since its creation before I stumbled upon LPedia desperately looking for historical party information in 2006.
For that matter, WHUMP would ideally be running somewhere other that my personal machine. Or maybe someone should have a backup ready to run if it's clear that I don't have it running.
For the list of things to do a better job of: matching people who wander in to the party looking for some way to participate with the endless list of things that need to be done.
-- Strangelv 15:22, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
The CT Libertarian and Green parties have, for the most part, escaped take over attempts by the Republicans and the Democrats because the R's and D's have already taken over other, more valuable parties. The Republicans control the Independent Party which, in terms of voter registration, is more than an order of magnitude larger than the CT LP. The Democrats control the Working Families Party, which only has a few hundred registered voters (literal Bolsheviks), but has 6 figure donation levels because it gets contributions directly from unions.
But the status qua has changed over the last 4 years and I expect there will be strong take over attempts in the immediate future. Only the Independent and Libertarian parties are growing registered voters. The LP surpassed the Green Party in registered voters in 2014. The Democrats have shrunk by 10% under Obama. The Republican party is down to the same number of voters it had in 1969 (not a typo.) The Constitution Party - which was one of our main voting drains - disbanded in 2013, which gives the LP better odds of retaining ballot access in federal and statewide races. The CT LP had its best fundraising year ever in 2012 (of necessity because the billionaire Linda McMahon of WWE was running for US Senate as a Republican and drove up the price of petitioners so she could also secure the Independent party ballot line.) The Greens not only failed to secure Presidential ballot access in 2012, at one point they only had $365 left in the bank. After 4 years they're all the way up to $1,100, which means they probably won't be on the ballot again in 2016. In 2013 we had a slate of candidates for town council in a 2nd Congressional district town hit 14%, and that was matched by a General Assembly candidate in 2014. So, for the first time in its history, the CT LP is showing that it is the most valuable 3rd party in the state in terms of growth of registered voters, organization to get ballot access, fundraising potential, and securing a non-negligible number of votes. The Republican party tried to put its candidate for the 2nd Congressional District on the LP ballot line in 2014 in place of the actual LP candidate, but that attempt was fended off. By two votes. They're going to try again.
Even if the CT LP survives the next take over attempt, I don't think the SCC appreciates the magnitude of the changes in the state since 2012. I don't think they know what to do with an influx of volunteers which will happen very soon because of the Presidential election. I don't think they know how to reach out to their base of registered voters, other than to ask for money. I don't think they're willing to spend any money on advertising. They've made some attempts at issuing press releases from time to time, but that could use improvement. They badly need help recruiting candidates for lower offices. So if there is a best practices guide that addresses any of that, I hope they will seriously consider the advice. I'm sure a number of other states could use the help as well.
First it would need to be written. Let me figure out who I can bug who might be in the best position to get started on it -- or perhaps if I break down and create a rough incomplete draft, to whom I should hand my draft over for more work.
Something to note for getting things done if you can't count on the SCC: form one or two political action committees (two would be one state one federal). I'm also working on a party materials business startup and have a table in Orlando that I desperately need to find people to man as I can't be there in person (my health is getting to be really inconvenient) -- Strangelv 20:31, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
It's not exactly that I can't count on them. Most of them have either asked me to join the SCC or be its chairman. And I realize that I do not have the skill set to fix all of the concerns that I listed above. I would be terrible at candidate recruitment, for example. Maybe I would have done better at issuing press releases, reaching out to registered libertarians, and I would have pushed hard for spending at least a little on targeted advertising. I have a few, incomplete ideas for channeling volunteer energy. But, I moved to Virginia.
I'd help you out, but I have no plans to go to Orlando.
We should find a better place for this discussion, but I must admit that moving out of state is a pretty good reason for not accepting a seat on the state committee. -- Strangelv 01:05, 4 May 2016 (UTC)