Bob Barr

I feel slightly compelled to devote at least a blurb to former Congressman Bob Barr, who has apparently parted ways with the Republican Party and will be seeking the Libertarian Party nomination for President.

The most obvious question is one of where he could have an impact. While we get caught up in margins and popular votes, the election is decided by state to state by electoral votes, and to have an impact a candidate must have an effect on at least one state count. Ralph Nader, for example, wasn’t relevant to the 2000 election because he captured 2.5% of the national popular vote, he was relevant because he got 97,000 votes in Florida and Gore lost the state by 537 votes. Barr could possibly run competitively in Georgia, but not many other places. The question then becomes whether or not he’d really hurt McCain substantially more than Obama, and whether Georgia would wind up making a difference to the electoral college vote count.

And of course this is all predicated on the idea that Barr will actually win the nomination. He’s a social conservative well out of step with Libertarian views on many issues, and it seems the one area he has chosen to focus on is civil liberties (i.e. opposition the Patriot Act and such). It remains to be seen whether that will be enough to endear him to Libertarians who disagree with him on as many things as they agree with him.

For what it’s worth, my money is on Wayne Allyn Root.

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