Polk County Voters and the 2020 Election

We wish to thank Jo Jorgensen, Jeremy (Spike) Cohen, Rick Stewart, Bryan Jack Holder, and Toya Johnson for their candidacies as Libertarians.

At the start of the year, we projected 33,000 votes statewide for the Libertarian presidential nominee would get us 2% of the vote to regain major political party status. As the unprecedented push by many different organizations for voters to cast ballots by mail grew, we projected 35,000 votes would be needed. In the end, we would have needed 34,003 votes to reach the 2% level. The statewide vote fell short of that, with less than 1.2% of the votes being cast for the Libertarian candidate, Jo Jorgensen.

The percentage of the vote received by Libertarian candidates was consistent with the historical record. We were hurt, among other things, by the lack of summer events at which to promote candidates and news media that struggled to report on much beyond the pandemic and which of the two major party candidates would provide the most stimulus money while requiring the most or least amount of personal responsibility towards controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

Analyzing how the party and individual candidates did also needs to be taken in context of other factors. The most obvious is the number of candidates for each contest. This year there were 9 names on the ballot for president, 4 for U.S. Senate, 3 for the 3rd District Congressional seat, and 2 for the state senate district in which Libertarians had a candidate on the ballot. Libertarians seeking the U.S. Senate and Congressional seats had run before, giving them name recognition and some familiarity to voters. They were limited in campaigning, though, because of the pandemic. The candidate state senate was able to conduct in-person campaigning through door knocking and social/business gatherings. She also ran against an incumbent who had alienated many voters because of his personal behavior.

The Libertarian candidate for the Congressional seat received more votes than the spread between the other candidates. The incumbent received only 6,209 votes more than her major-party opponent. The Libertarian candidate had over 15,000 votes. Thus, there are members of the non-victorious candidate’s party who claim the Libertarian candidate cost the challenger the election. Yet, there were also 12,648 under votes, meaning those voters did not cast a vote for the 3rd District contest. In Polk County, there was an even greater portion of discontented voters, with 7,440 opting not to vote for a Congressional candidate and 8,361 voting for the Libertarian. The under vote in the state senate contest was also high. To a lesser degree, the U.S. Senate contest also had a noticeable under vote.

In Polk County, the percentage of the vote for Libertarian candidates was not bad compared to the rest of the state. Not surprisingly, other populous counties had greater percentages of their votes going Libertarian given the dominance of the Democratic Party in this county. If we accept the premise that voters leaning Democrat were more likely to vote early, while those leaning Republican voted on election day, we can see the different support from those two groups for Libertarians or who chose a Libertarian vote instead of their usual partisan choice.

PartyEarly VoteNov. 3 VoteTotal VoteStatewide Total
Libertarian1,3222,0003,322 (1.27%)19,637 (1.15%)
Democrat100,94445,306146,350 (56.24%)759,,061 (44.64%)
Republican37,52069,280106,800 (41.07%)897,672 (52.80%)
PartyEarly VoteNov. 3 VoteTotal VoteStatewide Total
Libertarian2,3552,9585,313 (2.04%)36,961 (2.17%)
Democrat97,46044,868142,328 (54.73%)
754,859 (44.40%)
Republican38,92067,514106,443 (40.93%)864,997 (50.87%)
PartyEarly VoteNov. 3 VoteTotal VoteDistrict-wide Total
Libertarian3,4854,8768,361 (3.21%)15,361 (3.33%)
Democrat97,73343,854141,567 (54.44%)219,205 (47.56%)
Republican36,94565,375102,320 (39.34%)212,997 (46.21%)
PartyEarly VoteNov. 3 VoteTotal Vote
Libertarian1,7013,3965,097 (23.18% of votes)
(18.77% of ballots))
Democrat9,8287,04016,888 (76.81 of votes)
(62.19% of ballots)

1 thought on “Polk County Voters and the 2020 Election”

  1. To the “non-victorious” looter, or any other, winning means getting a hand in the till. Ideologues who use spoiler votes like tugboats to change the direction of the USS Kleptocracy see it differently. All we need is staying power and enough votes to cover the gap now and then. This is what the populist looters did before WWI, the Ukraine famine, dictatorship, gulags, Siberia, Auschwitz, Treblinka, Berlin Wall, Guyana People’s Temple… The collision with reality didn’t help, and China is all that’s left. Libertarians WIN every time this or that half of the Kleptocracy loses, then makes its platform more like our original platform. Winning is increasing freedom. Different definitions.

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