Fellow supporter of Liberty,
Before much time passes, I want to share with you my candid impressions of Tuesdays results, concerns that I have, and future plans.
Generally, the elections results were a dramatic boost to the Libertarian Party of Texas:
– It is irrefutable that our numbers went significantly up. Comparing similar races and candidates to previous years, this conclusion is obvious.
– We automatically qualified the party for the ballot in 2008, saving us a quarter million dollars
– We had excellent press coverage and very little negative about our party or candidates
– The fact that we were in excess of the margin of victory in several races gives us additional negotiating power in the legislative session
– Both our staff and many of our candidates are highly motivated with the results and ready to start working on 2008
– Having lots of candidates on the ballot gives us more data and better analysis of our results
A few concerns I have are:
– Several of our more active campaigns may not have measured up to your expectations and investment. I donated money towards these campaigns as several of you did and appreciate the market forces of getting a good return on investment. It is unclear whether active campaigns muster significantly better results than paper candidates at this point.
– A key metric is to exceed 5% in a 3 way statewide race. We are not quite able to reach this goal. In 2002 Barbara Hernandez got the highest 3 way statewide vote at 4.12% and this year Judy Baker got 4.38% in a statewide 3 way.
– My perception is that our party label image does not have yet have universal appeal. Putting a bunch on money behind a candidate with the “Libertarian” label may not be able to overcome the uncertainty a voter has about the perception of that label.
– Any progress we have made in the last 2 years can disappear if we do not retain our staff and raise the revenue to make their compensation competitive.
– I heard several reports of people having problems voting. Some precincts could not get the machines working. Although I think the results are generally accurate, I cannot rule out that some votes did not get counted.
– Many of us yearn for instant gratification. When we do not see immediate success we may give up and burn out. The LP has been working for 35 years and is not yet competitive in partisan races. We are dependent on those committed to the cause and growing new arrivers for patient progress.
– There were complaints from some of our supporters that some of our candidates did not show up for interviews with the media. I recognize we had people on the ballot that have families and careers and could not actively campaign. However, I think generally the quality of our candidates has gone up. I hope our nominating conventions will become more competitive and our delegates will have increased scrutiny in their selections.
– Some may perceive this was a one-time bump as a results of independent Kinky and Grandma voters casting ballots. It is hard to measure this effect, but I believe it is intuitively credible. We may not have the same dynamic in future elections and those voters could stay home. On the other hand it may also mean that if voter turnout goes up it favors us, as well as gives our party more exposure without the spotlight on celebrity independents
– Despite copious notice, our election night party in Austin was not as well attended as I hoped for. We had a decent crowd, but perhaps I was overly optimistic
Where do we go from here?
– First, lets clean up after ourselves and pick up any yard signs that we have put out. We can reuse these as well as the door hangers in the future, so lets be responsible stewards of our neighborhoods and resources
– While we do not yet compete for victories in partisan races, we do win local non-partisan races. Those interested in the May municipal elections can contact me, and I will be very happy to help.
– We will be active in the 2007 state legislative session and I expect better success in pushing reforms that will improve the electoral process and advance the cause of liberty
– We have until December 2007 to recruit our next slate of candidates. Preliminary plans are to make some trips around the state to help with local efforts to organize and get candidates filed for nomination
In summary, I think that although a candid opinion admits imperfection in the analysis, I feel we absolutely have made a measurable improvement that has been worth our investment. I want to thank everyone that has helped our efforts over the last 2 years. I especially want to thank every candidate that put their name on the ballot next to the “Libertarian” label.
I look forward to the next 2 years and appreciate your sustaining support.
Yours in Liberty,
Patrick J Dixon
Chair, Libertarian Party of Texas