PUBLIC OPINION > A Libertarian Can Be Elected President One Day
News 2012/05/16 22:00:00
As with his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns, Ron Paul was able to accumulate an enormously active and responsive following this year, but once again, he's wound up a little short. He's run as a third-party libertarian and as a Republican; he's run in good times and bad; he's remained (relatively) honest and incorruptible in the eyes of the public. Still, nothing. If he can't make it to the Oval Office, will a libertarian candidate ever have a shot? We asked the public.
The results were pretty close, but in politics, you don't need much of a margin to win. 53% is more than enough to land the presidency, even if you're Grover Cleveland. If we acted like everything that hasn't happened yet could never happen, humanity would never move forward. Will it happen? Who knows. But the point is, it could. This isn't about whether or not you'd want a libertarian president, but whether or not it would be possible to break the two-party system and elect someone outside of the box. As the Top Comment wrote, "At this point, they can only try to forestall the inevitable. A free and voluntary society is coming."
Libertarians Have Faith
Conservatives were a little more likely than liberals to trust that a libertarian president could win, but they were both unconvinced. Same goes for moderates. The only political demographics that thought it could happen were libertarians (obviously) and political "others." The real kicker was how many voters fell into those categories -- 45% combined.
Smokers Could See It Happening
One thing we've noticed in the past is a correlation between smokers and libertarian thinking. We've suggested that maybe recent proposals threatening to slap graphic warnings on packs, or jack the price of a pack up to $100, are the reason smokers are so like-minded. Here, again, smokers were much more likely than nonsmokers to believe libertarians could take the presidency.
High School Hot Spot
In his books, Ron Paul describes the overwhelming response he's gotten from college students who are frustrated with the rigid two-party political structure, but the breakdown shows that college students are no more likely than anyone else. In fact, high school students were the real supporters here. 84% of high schoolers said it's possible -- almost as much as the libertarians themselves.
If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about libertarian candidates. We'd love to hear from you!
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