Skip to comments.How Many 2008 McCain Voters Went Libertarian in 2012?
Posted on 11/19/2012 12:55:18 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Campaign Spot reader Michael writes in, having examined the claim of the missing Republican voters the drop off from McCains 2008 total to Romneys 2012. Immediately after the election, many were left incredulous in response to the apparent news that Romney received 3 million fewer votes than McCain did.
As more and more states have counted their absentees and reported 100 percent of precincts, the numbers are less shocking. Michael points to Dave Leips Atlas of US Presidential elections and calculates the drop off is now only 479,000.*
Most intriguingly, many of those missing McCain voters may have voted in 2012, but this time for the Libertarian Party nominee, Gary Johnson.
From 2008 to 2012, those voting for the Democrat ticket dropped from 69.49 million to 63.16 million, a drop of 6.3 million.
From 2008 to 2012, those voting for the Republican ticket dropped from 59.95 million to 59.47 million, a drop of just over 479,000.
From 2008 to 2012, those voting for the Libertarian ticket increased from 523,433 to 1.22 million, a jump of just over 700,000.
(* UPDATE: The great Dave Wasserman offers a spreadsheet with numbers updated day-by-day. Obama is up to 63.8 million votes, Romney is up to 59.87 million votes. This would have Romney down only 120,000 from McCains vote total, while Obama is 5.69 million behind his 2008 total.)
The irony is that at least at first glance, the Romney-Ryan ticket would appear more appealing to libertarian-leaning voters than McCain-Palin: no author of a restrictive campaign-finance law atop the ticket, a more sustained focus on cutting government, a nominee who opposed the bailout of General Motors (and paid a dear price for that stand in key states) and certainly a less interventionist tone than McCain offered in 2012.
This is the sort of time where someone traditionally offers a How the GOP Can Win Back the Libertarians op-ed. (Note that the popular vote margin for Obama was 3.69 million, so the Libertarian vote did not make up the difference, just about a third of it.) But I suspect that if you voted Libertarian this cycle, youre a pretty hard-core Libertarian, and unlikely to be won over by any half-measures the GOP might offer in the near future. Considering how there was little dispute that another four years of Obama would mean another four years of government growing bigger and taking a more active role in citizens lives, and how no one really thought Johnson would win, it would appear that the 1.22 million Libertarian voters were content to send a message with their votes a message that will now be almost entirely ignored in Washington.
Its their right; every vote has to be earned, and surely a Romney presidency would have offered its own disappointments to the Libertarian worldview. But it may be a continuing liability for the GOP that roughly one percent of the electorate believes strongly in limited government, but votes in a way that does not empower the GOP to do anything to limit that government.
I don’t know about those McCain voters, but I am one Palin voter that went Libertarian in 2012.
There is no “middle” anymore. The one or two percentage of points gained by running RINOs and pandering to the left is NOT worth the cost of loosing the support, energy and turnout of the base.
Probably a significant number, in places like CO with the pot initiative.
Should have read, “Dave Leip’s”, not “Dave Lieb’s”.
There will end up being a significant real turnout decline in New York and New Jersey.
It’s obvious Romney’s total will end up beating McCain, but I think Romney’s numbers will end up betting McCain even with the increase in voting age population from 2008 to 2012 taken into account.
What bothers me is the Republican voters who didn’t show up. Romney was a less flawed candidate than McCain and by all polls anti-Obama voters had united behind him. What happened to all those people who were highly motivated to throw the Obama regime out of office? They didn’t show. Why?
There's no evidence that turnout from the "base" has been lost.
Most of the "base" is in safely Republican states; who cares if a "True Conservative" increases turnout in Mississippi by 5%?
The Wiki page appears pretty accurate and actually is more updated than my own spreadsheet - I’m going to make another pass through mine tonight. Romney should pull ahead of McCain by Thanksgiving, for sure, I would think, unless the California vote count really slows.
One thing that stinks is the New York SoS maintains no running vote count and they don’t have a certification date until well into December.
“Empower the GOP to limit government”?
When they had congress and the white house they spent like there was no tomorrow. The GOP needs to change from inside out, starting at the grassroots level.
When the Republican Party is principled, it succeeds. When it caves in to political correctness and the urge to be adored by the MSM, it loses.
There was a huge push on in the final weeks to get the Libertarians 5% so they would qualify for federal funding and be guaranteed a spot in the debates next time.
Well, there are a number of reasons:
1) Social conservatives stayed home. Somebody like Huckabee might have brought more of them.
2) Anti-Mormon bias. Possibly, among Hispanics. Look at Miami-Dade turnout in Florida, which was only 67%. Low turnout in rural counties across the state compared to other counties.
3) Working-class whites did not like Romney. Bain, his richy-ness, outsourcing, etc. Ohio and Pennsylvania are good examples where white turnout was not at par.
4) Libertarian voters - why vote for RomneyCare?
Romney ran a better campaign than McCain, but not nearly as good as Obama.
It's a LOT easier to run a successful campaign when you have at least five major television channels and countless college professors giving you as much free cheerleading as you could ever want, along with hoardes of willing minions who will do and say ANYTHING, legal or illegal, to make sure you win.
In 1988, I voted for G.H.W.Bush. He gave us “read my lips, no new taxes.”
In 1992, I voted for Bush 41 again. Fat lot of good that did me. His typical Gutless Old Pretender policies allowed for Perot to gain a foothold.
In 1996, I voted for Dole. I’m still not sure if he is or isn’t a re-animated voodoo zombie.
In 2000, I voted for Bush after Keyes lost the primary. He gave us Medicare Part D and Campaign Finance Reform.
In 2004, I voted for Bush because he wasn’t John eFFin’ Kerry. He gave us “too big to fail” and “sacrifice free market principles to save the free market.”
In 2008, I held my nose and voted for McCain. The next morning, I quit the Republican Party and became an Independent so I could look at myself in the mirror again.
In 2012, I “did the adult thing” and voted for Romney. Now I’m toying with the idea of joining the Libertarian Party so I can look at myself in the mirror again.
I’m done with the GOP. They have squandered every opportunity given them over the last 24 years. I won’t waste another vote on their sorry arses.
The Republicans showed up.
There was just no way to win over the Obama machine fraud.
There are massive reports of criminal activity
(not mischief, not shenanigans- criminal activity) going on all over the U.S during the presidential election.
Reports of machines changing votes from Romney to Obama, eyewitness reports of Republican poll watchers who observed busloads of non-English speaking Somalians in Ohio being instructed to vote Obama- the list is endless.
Romney lost because of this, not any other reason.
Nobody could have won against the fraud planned and perpetrated by the Obama Machine.
Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.
The evidence is overwhelming!
Also share http://www.facebookcensorship.com and see the documentation of their censorship and harassment.
Bro. Winter Christian Bible teacher http://www.prime.org
I have no answer to that but to say the Libertarians probably picked up a whole bunch more in 2012 with the Romney pick.
Better think twice. What if the GOP nominates a true inspirational conservative instead of a compromise RINO?
Admit it, you’ll vote for him.
That will happen right after my pet unicorn gives birth to a purple crocodile in the back seat of my flying car on the way to Rome.
And yes, I’ll vote for him. ;)
It happened in 1980. Better take good care of that purple crocodile.