96,680 people Georgians voted for me. For comparison, that’s more than the population of Sandy Springs, Macon, or Albany. If you are one of these people, thank you.
I understand it can be frustrating and discouraging to be fighting an uphill battle, especially with people insulting you and spreading nonsensical propagandist lies at every turn. Every day leading up to the election you’d see more and more people trying to scare you and tell you it’s unacceptable to vote for any candidate from an opposition party. Now that it’s over you’ll see people saying terrible things will happen and it’s all your fault. Of course this is complete nonsense. Their arguments fall apart on simple examination of the facts, but these people don’t care about facts or about you for that matter. They only care about their team winning.
If we always vote the way the establishment duopoly wants us to vote, we’ll always get what the establishment wants us to get. If we buy into this divide and conquer nonsense we will be divided and they will conquer us. Yes, it’s discouraging that those who want to empower themselves and their neighbors are, and for the near future will be, vastly outnumbered by those who wish to use politics as a bludgeon to force their values onto their neighbors. But if change is to ever come, we must take a stand now and remain strong. Stand by truth and principle no matter what comes.
If it’s an impossible task, as some would have you believe, and the establishment, irresponsible parties will always rule us, then we’re all doomed anyhow so there’s no point in participating. Just crawl in a hole and wait to die, I suppose. No, we can and we must fight, no matter what the odds. When I look back on this campaign, no matter what anyone else said or did, at least I’ll know I stood for what’s right. So did you. No regrets.
But it is possible. There is hope. Change is on the horizon, even if it is painfully slow. In the PSC elections this year, we have a stronger rejection of the status quo than ever before. They’ve always been won by incumbent, status quo candidates. But in my election, the PSC-5 race this year, the incumbent status-quo candidate won by a smaller margin than any other ever has. Well, except one: the PSC-3 race this year. In that election the incumbent didn’t even win – it’s going into a runoff election. In the future when people look back on this and try to figure out how to navigate Georgia politics they will have to take this into account. If your vote was a part of that, you should be proud.
I know for a fact not everyone who reads this voted for me. In fact it’s entirely possible that the only thing crossing your mind right now is, “Oh no, a runoff! How will my team win?” Well, the most potent strategy is probably to convince your remaining opponent’s voters not to show up. If that’s the strategy you choose, I want no part in that – you’re on your own.
One common approach in a runoff election is to put at least some effort into trying to win over the voters who selected as their first choice a candidate who is no longer an option. Since so much effort has been put into making sure everyone ignores the Libertarian candidates, you may not know exactly how to go about campaigning to them.
Ryan Graham already wrote about how to appeal to his supporters, and he’s absolutely right. Not only are those some of the main issues he was campaigning on, they were resonating with voters. So all evidence points to following Ryan’s advice, if you want those votes.
The election where the Libertarian voting bloc looks to have the biggest impact on the runoff is Secretary of State. Smythe Duval was not running as a dogmatic libertarian. He was running on some specific issues that, yes, are popular with many Libertarians, but aren’t especially partisan. The support he has was among people who agreed with him on those issues. Just pick some of those issues that were resonating most with his supporters and adopt them. If you’re not sure what they are, check the issues menu on his website. I’ve definitely seen a lot of people respond positively to his advocacy for hand-marked paper ballots, same-day voter registration, non-partisan redistricting, and instant runoff voting (which would’ve saved you and the state the time and money right now).
The last I heard, some consider it still possible that the governor’s race may go to a runoff. I’m not saying it will, but let’s discuss the what-if. This one’s a little bit trickier, as the appeals available to Abrams and Kemp differ.
The strongest argument Abrams can make to Libertarians – and this isn’t just me speaking, it’s a common sentiment – is one of divided government. It’s two-parts, and goes like this:
- The Republican legislature passes a lot of terrible laws. I will disagree with them more often than Kemp would, I’ll veto more of these bad laws than he would.
- Sure, you dislike many of the things I want to get done. But I won’t get my way as easily as Kemp would, with all the awful things he wants to do. In fact, the legislature may want to reign me in.
This is an incredibly powerful argument, in large part because of how plausible it is. We’re all reticent to just take a politician at her word, but the idea that Republicans and a Democrat might bicker? Yeah, I can buy that.
I haven’t seen that argument made by her camp yet, though. In fact when I listened to her speech last night I heard someone almost desperate to drive me, a Metz voter, away.
Kemp obviously can’t make that argument. Luckily for him, Metz’s central message was about limiting government to the contraints of our constitutions (Georgia & US). Kemp has people around him who could teach him how to talk that talk. Unfortunately for him, many people view him as being a normal Georgia Republican, and as such he has zero credibility here.
Of course the right way to get that credibility would’ve been to nominate someone else. There’s a handful of people in the GA GOP who actually are small-government liberty lovers. You can usually spot them… losing a primary for a low-level office, by a large margin, because that’s not what their party is about.
There’s no time for that now. Nor is there time for Kemp to slowly build credibility through actions. I suppose his best bet would be to try to distance himself from well-known the big-government elements of his own party. Trump. Deal. Cagle. Perhaps himself. I don’t know about you, but I’m not holding my breath expecting him to do that.
No, when it comes to those two, they don’t care about the libertarian voters. I’d guess instead they’ll just play games trying to convince their side to show up and the other side not to. If the runoff even happens.
The race next-closest to a runoff is my own. I don’t believe this will happen. It looks like Ms. Pridemore has won outright. If by some fluke it turns out I’m wrong about that, I’ll certainly have more to say at that time. For now there’s no point in dwelling on something so unlikely, nor on the one that is almost as close, Commissioner of Insurance.