Tag Archives: Libertarian

Poll: Political parties lacking appeal for young Americans

Most young Americans say the Republican and Democratic parties don’t represent them, a critical data point after a year of ferocious presidential primaries that forced partisans on both sides to confront what — and whom — they stand for.

That’s according to a new GenForward poll that shows the disconnect holds true across racial and ethnic groups, with just 28 percent of young adults overall saying the two major parties do a good job of representing the American people.

The poll shows that despite this across-the-board feeling of disenchantment with the two-party system, the Democratic Party holds a clear advantage in appealing to young people of color.

More than two-thirds of young adults, including vast majorities of young Asian-Americans, Hispanics and blacks, say the Republican Party does not care about people like them.

Democrats fare a bit better among young people overall, with a small majority — 53 percent — saying the party cares about people like them. Among young African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans, most believe the party does care about people like them.

Among young whites, majorities say both parties don’t care much about them, including 58 percent who say that of the Republican Party and 52 percent who say it about the Democratic Party.

GenForward is a survey by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The first-of-its-kind poll pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.

The results of the survey of Americans age 18-30 reflect something of an identity crisis for both parties heading into the future, driven in part by deep antipathy toward the presidential candidates they nominated.

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the two least-popular presidential nominees in the history of modern polling, were opposed by large and bitter swaths of their parties.

Young people aren’t certain to fall in line behind the nominees, the survey found.

Three-quarters of young adults say the billionaire real estate magnate is unqualified to be president even after he vanquished 16 GOP rivals.

Half say the same of Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, after unlikely rival Bernie Sanders forced her to fight for the nomination for a year.

But for all the disenchantment, young adults across racial and ethnic groups are mostly unfamiliar with their alternatives.

Seven in 10 say they don’t know enough about Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson to have an opinion about him, and nearly 8 in 10 say the same about Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

The 18-30 age group tends not to be a conservative constituency, so the survey contains critical data particularly for Democrats and Clinton, who has said she knows she has “work to do” to appeal to the young people who flocked to Sanders during the primary.

Young people across racial and ethnic groups were more likely to support Sanders than Clinton in their primary battle this spring, and among young Sanders supporters, less than half — 43 percent — say they’ll support Clinton against Trump in the fall election.

Three percent say they’ll support Trump, with the rest saying they’re undecided, will vote for a third-party candidate or will not vote.

The poll of 1,940 adults age 18-30 was conducted July 9-20 using a sample drawn from the probability-based GenForward panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

The survey was paid for by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago, using grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.


On the web

GenForward polls: http://www.genforwardsurvey.com/

Black Youth Project: http://blackyouthproject.com/

AP-NORC: http://www.apnorc.org/

Rand Paul’s temper tantrums overshadow his fledgling candidacy

Sen. Rand Paul’s first days as a presidential candidate have not gone as planned.

The tea party favorite, first-term senator and son of a three-time presidential candidate, Paul is no stranger to attention. But in opening his campaign, he betrayed a hot temperament that, by his own admission, needs some control.

After defensive and dodging press interviews about abortion, Iran and his shifting views on some issues, he acknowledged, “I will have to get better at holding my tongue and holding my temper.”

But he’s clearly frustrated that as a presidential candidate he has to take questions from the press and does not get to decide what his opponents are allowed to say about him. He asked his campaign attorneys to send a cease-and-desist letter to television stations running ads critical of Paul’s previous statements about Iran. After facing questions about those remarks, Paul turned to lawyers to make the case that the ads did not represent the senator’s current views on Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon and should not be permitted on the airwaves.

It’s clear that Paul’s path from Senate iconoclast to candidate for the GOP nomination is going to be a rocky one.

In his first 24 hours as a contender, Paul lectured an NBC anchor about how to ask a question and told another to print his “five-minute answer” when asked an abortion question that he had answered earlier on a Kentucky Right to Life questionnaire.

He then picked a fight on the issue with the chairwoman of the Democratic Party, hardly a sin in Republican circles but a provocation he might not have needed in his earliest days of defining himself as a candidate.

 “I think we can all get better,” Paul told Fox News. “I mean, I’m not perfect.”

Paul has always been an antagonistic figure. He won his Senate seat by challenging an establishment-favored Republican in the primary and quickly set about bucking his party’s leadership on domestic spending, foreign policy and more. Arizona Sen. John McCain — a man who’s gone far despite his own hotheaded episodes — once called his fellow Republican one of the “wacko birds” of the Senate.

Yet Paul’s prickly demeanor could be an asset in his quest for the nomination, especially among conservative and libertarian activists. Paul’s pitch is that he’s a Washington outsider who fights the establishment, which in his view includes reporters.

“Thankfully, our national media doesn’t get to pick and choose our Republican Party’s presidential nominees,” Paul tweeted. Backers seemed to agree: He raised more than $1 million in online donations in his first day.

Almost immediately after declaring his candidacy, Paul was struggling to explain his positions.

On Fox News, a favorite venue for Republicans, Paul faced questions about his shift on Iran, from saying in 2007 that it was “ridiculous” to think Iranians threatened U.S. security to his more hawkish stance now.

“You know, things do change over time,” Paul said.

The next morning, he was pressed again about changing views.

“No, no, no, you’ve editorialized it,” Paul told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Listen.”

He later refused to say in an Associated Press interview whether he thought any ban on abortion should include exceptions in cases of rape, incest or risk to the life of the woman. “I gave you about a five-minute answer,” he said. “Put in my five-minute answer.”

He actually answered that question crisply in 2010, when asked on a Right to Life survey that has his signature if he opposes abortion in the case of rape or incest. He replied in the affirmative.

Later, he questioned why the Democratic National Committee wasn’t being pressed on abortion.

“Why don’t we ask the DNC: Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus?” he offered.

In response, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said: “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”

Not quite end of story: She also needled Paul about shushing a female reporter on CNBC before he entered the race. “I’d appreciate it if you could respond without ‘shushing’ me,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Paul took umbrage at suggestions he is especially combative with female interviewers.

“I think I’ve been universally short-tempered and testy with both male and female reporters,” he told CNN. “I’ll own up to that.”

Libertarians file complaint with Wisconsin over exclusion from debate

Wisconsin’s Libertarian Party has filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board alleging that the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is violating state campaign finance law with its proposed broadcast debate for gubernatorial candidates.

Andy Craig, a candidate for secretary of state on the Libertarian slate, filed the complaint in cooperation with Robert Burke, the Libertarian candidate for governor.

The broadcasters association traditionally sponsors televised debates in statewide elections, and has done so since the late 1990s.

The complaint from the Libertarians alleges that the group’s threshold for inclusion in 2014 is “deliberately designed to ensure a two-party debate in a four-candidate race.” A candidate must be at 10 percent or higher in polls and must have raised at least $250,000 in campaign contributions.

Robert Burke opted to run a no-donation campaign for governor under the banner “Give to the poor, not politics.”

The complaint says the debate criteria is unfair to third-party or independent candidates who usually receive a much higher number of votes per-dollar-spent than do traditional major party campaigns.

Libertarian Ed Thompson, for example, received more than 10 percent of the vote in his bid for governor in 2002 and spent about $50,000. He also placed first in two Wisconsin counties, although he was excluded from the WBA debate.

The complaint with GAB specifically alleges that the WBA is engaging in an illegal in-kind contribution to the gubernatorial campaigns of Republican Scott Walker and Democrat Mary Burke, who are the only candidates bringing in the kind of money to participate in the debate. 

“Only a broadcast debate which extends an invitation to all general election candidates for governor can satisfy the legal requirement that the extremely valuable and expensive broadcasting time and debate sponsorship, and the corporate resources which go into them, not be used to promote the election or defeat of any candidate. This is what distinguishes a debate, which would be legal for corporations to fund and promote as an educational service to voters, from an electioneering advertisement” said Craig.

The Libertarian Party is Wisconsin’s third-largest political party. Twelve Libertarian candidates are running this year in the state, including five for statewide offices.

Presidential candidate Johnson leaves GOP race for Libertarian

Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is leaving the GOP in favor of running as a Libertarian.

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the treatment he received in the Republican nomination process, according to the AP.

“I had hoped to lay out a real libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. The process was not fair and open,” he said.

Johnson has been excluded from all but two GOP presidential debates. He also has barely registered in the polls.

The former two-term governor said that if he earns the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, he will appear on the ballots in all 50 states and will not be “held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries.”

Johnson is fiscally conservative but supports legalizing marijuana, abortion rights and marriage equality.

Source: AP

Gary Johnson’s statement this week follows:

Today I am announcing that I will seek the Libertarian nomination for President of the United States. The Libertarian Party nominee will be on the ballot in all 50 states – as they were in 2008, and will offer a principled alternative to the Republican and the Democrat.

“This was both a difficult decision – and an easy one. It was difficult because I have a lot of Republican history, and a lot of Republican supporters. But in the final analysis, as many, many commentators have said after examining how I governed in New Mexico, I am a Libertarian — that is, someone who is fiscally very conservative but holds freedom-based positions on the issues that govern our personal behavior.

“Frankly, I have been deeply disappointed by the treatment I received in the Republican nomination process. I had hoped to lay out a real libertarian message on all the issues in the Republican contest. The process was not fair and open.

“This election is about issues larger than party or personal ambition.The future of our country is at stake. “

I believe this election needs a true libertarian voice. While Ron Paul is a good man and a libertarian who I proudly endorsed for president in 2008, there is no guarantee that he will be the Republican nominee.

“My Agenda for America, a libertarian agenda, is clear. It is not at an agenda you will hear from any other candidate or party.

– I want to end deficit spending and cut federal spending by 43%. – I want to enact the Fair Tax to stimulate real economic growth and job creation.

– I want to end the manipulation of our money by the Federal Reserve. – I support the Second Amendment and oppose gun control.

– I oppose expensive foreign wars in places like Libya and Afghanistan where our national interest is not clear. -I want to cut the over-regulation of our families, our businesses and our lives.

– I support a woman’s right to choose.

– I support marriage equality for gay Americans, as required by the Constitution.

– I support the legalization of marijuana, which will save us billions and do no harm.

– I demand a government free of special interest influence, crony capitalism and corruption.

– I support returning strict adherence to Constitutional principles to our government.

“I am confident this agenda will resonate with the American people because it actually reflects the true beliefs of a clear majority of Americans.

“Sadly, neither the Republicans nor Democrats will offer this agenda to the American people. The Republicans talk about cutting spending and taxes but insist on government regulating our personal lives. The Democrats support more liberal social policies but they will tax and spend and borrow us into bankruptcy. America needs a third way.

“I know first-hand that my governing philosophy works because of my experience as a successful two-term governor, elected and reelected as a Republican in a Democrat state. I know how to create jobs because I have created jobs. My record on job creation is superior to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney or any other candidate. I successfully governed as a Libertarian in everything but the name, and I am running for president as a Libertarian.

“If I earn the Libertarian Party nomination, I will be on the ballot in all 50 states. I will not be held hostage to a system rigged for the wealthiest and best-known candidates in a handful of states who happen to have early primaries. And most important, we will offer a political “home” for millions of Americans who are not finding one in the current political establishment or its candidates.

“I am excited by this challenge. I am liberated. And I am committed to shaking up the system as it has never been shaken up before. The tired old two-party system has failed America.

“America is ready for a President who will restore common sense to our fiscal and foreign policies and get government out of the boardroom and the bedroom. I believe the American people will see that a credible Libertarian candidate for president is the real path to liberty, economic growth, opportunity, and a government that is put into its proper and limited role.

“In a recent national poll 63% of Americans said they wished there was a third choice for 2012. There is another choice, and I intend to educate the voters about what we offer America. Together I am convinced we can make history and restore America to greatness.”