Libertarian Robert Sarvis Drew Record High Votes in Virginia

11/8/13
 
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from The Daily Beast,
11/8/13:

For the guy who finished third in the Virginia governor’s race, Robert Sarvis had a pretty good night on Tuesday. Sarvis was the Libertarian candidate in the election who pulled in just over 6.5% of the vote. This wasn’t just a landmark achievement for a third party candidate in Virginia but in the entire American South.

As Richard Winger of Ballot Access News told the Daily Beast, no third party candidate in the South has performed this well in over forty years. The last time was in 1970 when the primarily African American National Democratic Party ran a candidate in opposition against Alabama Governor George Wallace. With no Republican candidate on the ballot, the National Democrats received 15% of the vote.

Sarvis received attention throughout the campaign, not just on election night. He polled above 10% through much of the fall and even received a newspaper endorsement.. Although he wasn’t included in any of the debates, he ran television ads and was considered a possible spoiler throughout the campaign. Republican Ken Cuccinelli was so worried about Sarvis that he focused his strategy in the final days of the campaign on appealing to wavering libertarians. In fact, Cuccinelli’s final rally was headlined by Ron Paul in an attempt to appeal to these voters. But who were the Sarvis voters?

The question, which was heavily debated before, during and after the election was where Sarvis pulled his supporters from and whether his campaign drew more votes away from Democratic governor-elect Terry McAuliffe or from the socially conservative Republican, Cuccinelli. Based on the crosstabs of a CNN exit poll, it appears that statewide, Sarvis voters leaned toward McAuliffe as their second choice. However there was a lot of regional variation.

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