Home Uncategorized Alaska News Story Suggests Libertarian U.S. Senate Primary Outcome Caused by Voter Confusion
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Alaska News Story Suggests Libertarian U.S. Senate Primary Outcome Caused by Voter Confusion

As previously reported, the Alaska Libertarian primary on August 19 included a 3-way race for the U.S. Senate nomination. Thom Walker won, even though he didn’t campaign and is not known to Libertarian Party activists. This story suggests that Walker won the primary because some voters confused him with Bill Walker, an independent candidate for Governor whose name was not on any party’s primary ballot, but who is well-known.

2 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    Ye OLDE name game machinations at work — again and again.

    One more example for having NO primaries.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  2. Jim Riley

    Under a Top 2 system, Independent candidates such as Bill Walker would appear on the primary ballot just like partisan candidates.

    There were 3 Libertarian and 2 Alaskan Independence candidates on the ADL-blanket ballot, Their combined vote total was quite comparable to the votes for the sole Libertarian candidate for US representative, and governor (which had no AI candidates).

    So you have a mix of Libertarian, AI, nonpartisan, and undeclared voters added to the Democrats (though Republican voters could vote the ADL primary, I suspect that most would vote in the Republican primary, particularly because of the Republican senate primary).

    A lot of nonpartisan and undeclared voters would pick the Republican ballot as well. But let’s assume that only 1/3 of these independent voters took the ADL ballot, and half vote for Begich (eg they are Democratic leaners who claim to be independent) and that all Democrats voted for Begich or the other Democrat.

    Libertarians would comprise only about 10% of the electorate that was choosing from among 3 Libertarians and 2 American Independent candidates. They would tend not to see it as a contest for the “nomination”, but rather as simply a choice among 5 unknowns, one who had a seemingly familiar name.

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