Signal Intelligence About The LP

Loading Table of Contents...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Spinning the LP Primary Results

In the wake of the LP's Super Tuesday, earnest LP partisans promptly started spinning the results, just like major-party politicos do.

In the comments at Third Party Watch, Tom Knapp spins the Super Tuesday outcome by saying it leaves us with a two-man race between his man Steve Kubby and (not surprisingly) the top-tier candidate least likely to draw votes from self-described radical Kubby -- Wayne Root. Kubby explains away Root's 1st-place finish in Missouri (doubling Kubby's total) as a predictable result of ballot position (that Knapp apparently didn't predict). He explains away Christine Smith's 50% margin over Kubby in California as due to Smith's gender and sharing a name with a Playboy playmate -- again, neither a last-minute tactic of Smith's. He spars with George Phillies in the comments over how hard Phillies campaigned in California, and how Kubby didn't even really try. Knapp sharply criticized Kubby rivals Smith, Phillies, and Root in a blog posting yesterday (which two Outright Libertarian leaders promptly protested while ironically asserting their dedication to fair play and "free dialogue"). He claims to believe that Smith is not a threat, but draw your own conclusions when he increases his attacks on her.

A Wayne Root press release says Root scored a "gold, silver, and bronze" in yesterday's contests, without "without campaigning a single day in either Arizona, Missouri or California." (Knapp pointed out that Root spoke at the 2007 LPCA convention.) Phillies downplayed his own efforts, and Knapp downplayed Kubby's efforts, so maybe Libertarians should ask if anyone even wants the nomination?

One who apparently does is Smith, whose blog gave a spin-free report on her California victory, with no excuses offered about why she wasn't on the ballot in Missouri or Arizona -- and no mention of them either.

Phillies' web site today simply links to the outcomes in the three states (noting his win in Arizona), while Kubby's site hasn't been updated.

The Outright Libertarians leadership is trying to spin the LP primaries as a victory of gay-friendly candidates over allegedly gay-disrespecting candidates. They point out the astonishing fact that the first tier of serious candidates who took the Outright survey were winners over the perennial/vanity/not-so-serious candidates who didn't take their survey. They crow that the first-tier candidates all turn out to be in favor of gay rights (amazing!), and say that what's characteristic of the 2nd-tier candidates is that they "refused" to take the Outright survey and thus "don't respect the LGBT community". (Back when some of the 2nd-tier candidates didn't have web sites, I guess they were "refusing" to have them and thus "don't respect" the web.)

The Outright posting also claims that Super Tuesday is a defeat for Libertarians who support Ron Paul. However, in the only two races for which we have data, pro-Ron-Paul candidates (Kubby, Smith, Root) out-polled the anti-Ron-Paul Outright-endorsed candidate (Phillies) by 3-1 in Missouri, and 10-1 in California (and 8-1 in San Francisco). Furthermore, (Ron Paul supporter) Eric Garris says at Third Party Watch that write-in votes outpolled Smith in the biggest California counties by a 3-1 or 4-1 margin. I wonder what name was on those write-ins? I bet the initials were R.P., and no I don't mean Rob Power.


Thomas L. Knapp said...


In no case have I tried to "explain away" Root's "1st place finish" in Missouri. That would be silly, since there's no 1st-place finish by Root to explain away. Root came in 2nd in Missouri with 18.1% of the vote, nearly 30% behind the winner, "uncommitted."

Brian Holtz said...

I'll be sure to congratulate Mr. Uncommitted when I see him in Denver. It sure was clever of him to change his name that way.

Eric Dondero said...

Oh please Tom. That takes the cake for spin. You're just pissed cause this was your home turf and your guy Kubby got creamed by Wayne Root.

My gosh. Anyone can see right through that comment.

Anonymous said...


The voters clearly chose to allow the delegates to remain uncommitted at the NatCon. Wayne Root, under no circumstances, won this primary. The delegates remain uncommitted. Get it?

Brian Holtz said...

Jeff, no LP primary can commit any delegates. We are all Super Delegates. Capes and tights optional.

Anonymous said...


That's why these primaries are so futile. The Arizona and California delgations are not forced to choose Phillies and Smith, respectively.

However, Dondero's constant refrain of WAR victory in Missouri is premature, considering that among the multitude of choice, WAR did not receive the most votes.

Thomas L. Knapp said...

Brian and Eric,

It may not be impossible to spin Root's Missouri performance as a "win," but it would be pretty hard.

In the last two LP presidential primaries, the highest-polling candidate (Harry Browne in 2000 and Gary Nolan in 2004) beat "uncommitted." Wayne Root came in nearly 30 points behind "uncommitted" and with less than half the percentage vote than either of the two previous primary winners got.

Root would have been smarter to have stressed his two second-place and one third-place finishes as something to build on than to try to spin a win out of it. He had a big enough "questionable claims" barricade to get over already. He just added to that barricade's height.

Brian Holtz said...

Unless you can show that votes for "uncommitted" in the LPMO primary somehow correlate with votes for NOTA at NatCon, the fact remains that Root got more votes than any other choice that will be appearing on the delegates' ballot -- and certainly more than any other human that will be appearing on the ballot.

Does anyone think that Tom wouldn't have called Kubby the winner if he had beaten all his rivals?

The art of spinning involves walking right up to the precipice of insulting the audience's intelligence. Tom is as good at this as anybody in the LP, but he may have misjudged the tiny audience of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Brian, my dear, I was most interested to read that "the Outright Libertarians who endorsed George Phillies" all "live in San Francisco."

Someone should tell the members of Outright's Executive Committee including Ruth Bennett (Seattle, WA), Allan Wallace (Knoxville, TN), Doyle Jones (Atlanta, GA), and Beau Cain (Los Angeles, CA) of their new addresses.

But don't let me interrupt your inaccuracy streak! :)

Brian Holtz said...

"All 'live in San Francisco'" is yet another Brian Miller fabrication. Do quotation marks mean nothing to you? Your comment about "inaccuracy streak" does nothing but continue your own irony streak.

In another posting (not even this one), I wrote of "San Francisco county, home of the Outright Libertarians who had endorsed [Phillies]". It's just inane to claim this is me suggesting that the entire leadership of the Outright Libertarians lives in San Francisco. If you think some other city has a better claim for being the home base of OL, let us know.

Anonymous said...

Brian, while your manufactured outrage is endearing, it doesn't subtract attention from the fact that the Outright leadership is all over the country -- as is Dr. Phillies' support.

If you wish to ascribe some regional influence to the organization, it is arguably more influential in local politics in the southeast of the country than anywhere else. It's manifestly silly for you to go traipsing down that happy little path of generalities once again, especially when you're so ill-informed, but then again such exercises are what make your writing such an amusing read! Please don't change. :)

Brian Holtz said...

Sorry, but your fabrications long ago stopped qualifying as outrageous, and now are merely tedious. Or comically obtuse -- such as your suggestion that this Phillies fan might question the national character of George's support. You should stick with the content-free vouching, such as about me being "ill-informed", rather than masochistically trying to engage me on specifics.

My claim remains: "San Francisco county, home of the Outright Libertarians who had endorsed [Phillies]". I never said the Outright leadership was "all" in San Francisco. That remains a fabrication. And thanks for not nominating any other city as having a better claim to being the leading Outright stronghold.

Also unrebutted is my larger point here: George only got 20 (now 23) votes in San Francisco county. If you dare say it's not surprising that the Outright endorsement didn't result in a higher figure than that, I'm content to just let any readers here judge for themselves what that implies.

Anonymous said...

The truth of the matter is that "Outright Libertarians" is pretty much a little social club that hasn't done much of import in its existence (except putting out self-important press releases and posting on a thousand different blogs) and whose national conventions can easily fit at one table at a restaurant. Trust me, I was there.