Hat tip to Bleeding Heartland:
Record-breaking showing gives Libertarians
political party status in Iowa
Former NM Governor Gary Johnson got almost 4 percent of the vote in Iowa (and Trump still won) and the result was favorable:
Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson received 58,796 votes in Iowa, about 3.8 percent of ballots cast.***
Iowa Code defines a political party as “a party which, at the last preceding general election, cast for its candidate for president of the United States or for governor, as the case may be, at least two percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for that office at that election.” After clearing that bar, a non-party political organizations can apply for political party status and keep it as long as its candidates for president or governor continue to receive at least 2 percent of the vote.
The most important result is that LP candidates can get on the primary ballot and winners can advance to the general election. Now in VA, the LP would be able to have conventions instead of primaries (Not sure libertarians ought to run in primaries if they have a choice as primaries are a use of the state apparatus to choose candidates.) that would cost the party less money.
Now in VA, a party like the Libertarians need 10% of the vote. And alas, Governor Johnson could have had 20% and this would not (arguably) automatically gain major party status in Virginia due to a quirk in the law:
The Virginia Code says statewide elections give a party political party status – and the Presidential election is a national election held statewide, not a statewide election. The statewide elections in the Old Dominion are the three state offices every four years: Governor, LG and Attorney General and the US Senate races. That is why the LP needs to be strategic about its candidates. Do not run for Governor but rather LG or maybe AG.
I doubt the Hawkeye state will go to heck in a handbasket now that the LP can name their own candidates. Virginia needs better ballot access to prevent the major parties from being able to name candidates without petitioning. Maybe 2% is too low but 3 or 4 percent is much better.
Better ballot access can ensure some sort of election contest:
Iowa Libertarians nominated candidates for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat and for the U.S. House in the third Congressional district, as well as in six Iowa Senate and twelve Iowa House districts this year. Recruiting as many state legislative candidates as possible, especially in heavily Republican areas where Democrats often don’t run, should be a high priority going into the 2018 election cycle.
Over half of the state legislature seats in Virginia were uncontested at least at the major party level. This is outrageous. I hope Delegate Rasoul will push his ballot access bills again in this 2017 Session.