Analyzing Election Data
The 2014 election had a near record performance by Libertarian US Senate candidate Sean Haugh. Despite the closeness of the race and over $100 million spent by the Democrats, Republicans and outside groups, Sean Haugh still managed to receive 3.74% of the vote, a total of 108269. Of the 22 Libertarians running for US Senate around the country, only 4 others did as well or better than Sean Haugh, and none in such a competitive race.
While Sean received 3.74% statewide, his results in Durham and Orange counties, and many of the 9 other counties which share NC House and Senate districts was lagging.
Exit polls by NBC show that, as typical, Sean Haugh was strongest with young voters and independent minded voters.
Although Sean's was the only race in the western Triangle, we can look around the state at down ticket races to gleam some important information. The LPNC had 4 candidates running for NC House and Senate; two in three-way races and two facing only the incumbent. The two candidates in three way races received 2.49% and 3.51% of the vote, while the two facing only the incumbent received 25.23% and 25.25% of the vote. As one could intuitively guess, having only one opponent in the race is a much better starting point.
While these candidates had the help from a small group of volunteers, they suggest that with more backing, the Libertarian Party can make a serious run for a General Assembly seat.
Strategic Planning for Success
Target winnable races and provide local support
While the Libertarian Party of North Carolina should continue to support personable candidates in high profile races to increase brand awareness, the local party should focus on winnable races. With limited financial resources, volunteers and candidates, it doesn't make sense for us to target down ticket races that have a Democrat and Republican or are extremely gerrymandered.
- Help potential candidates identify the office with the best chance of electoral success
- Provide guidance and training in fundraising strategies and effective use of volunteers
- Aid candidates in identifying dedicated volunteers and local events to participate in
Make an Active GOTV Effort
Exit polls routinely show >90% of Democrat and Republican voters are loyal to their party and rarely vote for a third party in a three-way race. In the most recent election, independent voters were 9 times as likely to support Sean as a voter from either major party.
- Target registered Libertarians and independent voters by phone to inform them of the Libertarian candidate
- Assist voters in requesting a mail-in-ballot to reduce the "work" of voting
- Prioritize voters under the age of 45
- Target voters of the unrepresented party in two-way races to inform them of the Libertarian candidate
Get the Message Out Early
In the most recent election, 71% of voters in the NBC exit poll said they decided who to vote for more than one month in advance of the election. Additionally, as the election approaches, the amount of election advertising increases dramatically, potentially drowning out any effort we make.
- Contact potential voters well in advance of the election to inform them of the Libertarian candidate
- Increase party awareness by making regular contact with voters in the election off-season
Fine Tune the Message
Political pundits say Kay Hagan lost because she couldn't speak to issues important to voters like the economy. As a political party, it is important we know which issues fire up our base, while also being able to speak to issues which reach a broader constituency.
- Please help us by taking this brief survey to tell us which issues are most important to you