Talk:Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Election Results

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Revision as of 20:28, 23 April 2016 by (talk) (That Other Wiki)
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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.