Ever since 1920, the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives has been publishing a book that shows how many votes each candidate for Congress received in the preceding election. The Clerk has just published the latest volume, which is titled “Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010.” The book is interesting because it includes tables at the back, showing the vote for each house of Congress by party. These tables will not recognize a minor party candidate for Congress as a candidate of that party, unless the state prints the party’s label on the ballot. For example, Oklahoma and Tennessee have extremely easy ballot access for non-presidential independent candidates, but extremely difficult ballot access for new and minor parties. Therefore, minor party candidates in Oklahoma and Tennessee for over ten years have all been on the ballot as “independent”, so the Clerk’s tables show those votes in the Independent column, not the column of any particular party.
Even with that limitation, the 2010 chart for U.S. House lists the Libertarian Party’s national vote total as 1,002,511. The Clerk’s tables have credited the Libertarian Party with over 1,000,000 votes for U.S. House in five elections now. Besides 2010, they are: 2000 1,610,292; 2002 1,030,189; 2004 1,040,465; and and 2008 1,083,096. The Clerk’s booklet has never credited any other party (besides the Democrats and Republicans) with as many as 1,000,000 votes for U.S. House. The Progressive Party had over 1,000,000 votes for U.S. House in 1912, but the booklet didn’t exist back then. Thanks to Thomas Jones for the news about the book.