This happened because the Republicans nominated a fairly liberal candidate for US House, and in response, Doug Hoffman ran on the Conservative Party ticket. The liberal Republican dropped out of the race, the Conservative nearly made up the ground, but ultimately lost.
Some are saying that this is proof that a third-party candidacy is folly, and that reform needs to happen within the major parties.
I'll point out again that the GOP leadership nominated the liberal Republican.
The GOP leadership, virtually anywhere, has been so interested in targeting moderate and independent voters that the result is the appearance of not standing for anything at all. That's where they don't get it. There is a morass of wandering disaffected voters looking for a home, that requires a party to stand for something.
Obviously, the fear of third parties in general is keeping these folks in limbo, because the Libertarian Party has ever been for smaller budgets, less spending, less taxes, more economic growth, and higher employment... and this is what the people seem to want. From CNN's polling:
The number of Americans who say the economy is their top issue is on the rise, according to a new national poll.
Forty-seven percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning say the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. That's up 6 points from August.
Health care, at 17 percent, remains second on the list. But the issue is down a few points from August, indicating that the furor caused by the late summer town hall meetings may be fading somewhat on the minds of most Americans.
This tells me a lot. There's the Democratic leadership, working hard on something that the public doesn't regard as the top issue. Neither the Bush stimulus nor the Obama stimulus convince the public that their solution is working. Here are the Libertarians, offering a result that the people are clamoring for, yet not reaching the people.
My opinion is that right now, the Libertarian Party needs to become a single-issue party, focused solely on the economy. It isn't just that CNN article that makes me think this way. This has been the top issue for about a year now. The old leadership is discredited. The new leadership is losing people. This is an opportunity for the Libertarians, provided they eliminate distractions.
What say you?