If you’re going to mount an independent or third party run, the easiest way to do it is by stealing the ballot access of the Libertarian Party . . . or that’s what the GOP Establishment may think.
The LP is the third largest political party and is on track to have their presidential candidate on the ballots of 48 to 50 states in November.
Last week, anti-Trump GOP donors commissioned a study on the requirements for an independent run. The Florida firm who conducted the study, Data Targeting, had a memo leak that concluded, “it is possible to mount an independent candidacy but [it] will require immediate action on the part of this core of key funding and strategic players.”
Essentially, it was an optimistic, “we’re screwed.”
An independent candidate would need over 450,000 signatures of voters just to be on the ballot in 11 states.
Rather than spend millions of dollars on an attempt to get a candidate on the ballot that could challenge Donald Trump, it appears the GOP Establishment has been caught trying to steal the ballot access of the Libertarian Party.
With the permission of the LP, data experts dove into their anonymous Web site traffic to find that, within the last week, visitors have been searching for “Libertarian Party,” hitting LP.org, and signing up as members.
The party has received more sustained traffic in the last week than it had seen since October of 2012.
The party has also confirmed that they have had more new members join the party within the last seven days than at any time since 2008.
Unlike the Republican and Democrat parties, the LP requires a minimum donation of $25 to become a member of the party. New members must also sign a pledge tied to the principles of the party.
There are no active, new member acquisition campaigns under way by the LP, and the existing presidential candidates have driven few visitors to the site.
Why would the Establishment drive people to join the LP?
That’s easy . . . to stack the convention and nominate their own candidate.
They can’t compete with Donald Trump, so they have to find another route to maintain their power.
The Libertarians hold their presidential nominating convention on May 27th in Orlando, Florida.
While 1,047 delegates may attend the convention and choose their nominee, historically, only 600 or so Libertarians show up to vote . . . and few are registered to attend right now.
That leaves room for a hostile takeover of the party.
To become a delegate, you have to raise your hand and be selected by a state party to attend . . . you don’t even have to be a member of the national party, but most don’t realize that.
Prospective delegates can even show up at the convention, request to be included in a delegation and be voted in by a state.
Delegate requirements are loose if you can pass the purity suspicions of other Libertarians.
In previous discussions of bylaws changes, party officials considered adding in a “takeover” provision that would require delegates to be members for a period of time, but the change was shot down due to its lack of inclusiveness.
The GOP Establishment, which has openly discussed a “third party option”, could reasonably take over the Libertarian Party . . . and destroy it in one fell swoop.
If the GOP Elites, never being known for their political intelligence, were to nominate Mitt Romney, Rubio or some other establishment candidate using the Libertarian’s ballot line, it would all but guarantee that Hillary Clinton would be our next president.
Libertarian Party leaders would be wise to fill their delegate slots with as many “known” libertarians as possible before GOP donors do it for them.