Last night, statewide primary elections were held throughout California, where several of this website’s editors reside. And while Libertarians were represented on several district’s ballots, the results were severely disappointing when the polls closed.
Gary Johnson, who was put under scrutiny by our site in the previous article here easily won the nomination for Libertarian presidential candidate, with over 53% of the vote. However in the district-by-district voting, Libertarians were soundly beaten, in a distressing display of how far the cause of Liberty still has to go in Liberal California.
To be honest, I was slightly shocked by some of the results, especially in light of the campaign behind Steve Collett, who was running for Congress in Santa Monica, CA (for all intents and purposes Los Angeles) and who donated the Los Angeles Ron Paul Liberty HQ space to the cause. His supporters were incredibly active and there was rarely a single street corner that wasn’t papered with his signage (cleverly designed to echo the lettering and look of the popular “Colbert Report” logo). I can say authoritatively that Collett had the most exposure for any candidate from a grass roots perspective, and sheer volume of signage. The result? 4.3% of the vote and 5th place.
Another Libertarian candidate, Michael Benoit, in Escondido (San Diego) finished with 5.3% of the vote in 4th place and Art Tuma who ran in Elk Grove (Sacramento) bottomed out with 3.2%. No one had a more embarrassing showing (or website…) than Gail Lightfoot, who ran for Senate and took in 2.1% despite running on a very similar platform to Ron Paul. The best result across the board was for John H. Webster, running for Senate in District 13 (Santa Clara), who garnered 15.9% of the vote in 3rd place, which is actually very encouraging.
Despite the massive Ron Paul rally at UCLA (covered in depth here), which drew over 7 thousand, it’s clear that the majority of voters have still not embraced the philosophy of liberty, and that the younger voters, while passionate in their principles, still aren’t making the effort to extend that passion to the polls.