Will Barr win the LP Nomination?

Many have assumed Bob Barr would easily win the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination this week, but it’s not a forgone conclusion. As Robert Stacey McCain points out in this article, Barr’s candidacy presents the LP with a tough choice.

Because of his conservative past and relatively recent switch from the GOP, Barr is viewed with suspicion or hostility by many longtime LP members. At the North Carolina state party convention last month, Barr got only one vote in a straw poll that was won handily by (longtime LP activists Mary) Ruwart. (Noting that Ruwart had been active for many years in the North Carolina LP before moving to Texas, one libertarian wit dubbed the Tarheel State “Ruwartistan.”)

Under the rules governing the Libertarian nomination process, with unpledged delegates chosen by state party conventions, no candidate is expected to have a first-ballot majority. The field will be winnowed down as candidates are eliminated, with their supporters shifting to the remaining candidates.

“We’re cautiously optimistic,” the anonymous Barr operative said, but added that he expects a “bloody fight” in Sunday’s vote, possibly stretching into “the wee hours” of Monday morning.

(Georgia LP Chair Daniel) Adams said he expects the contest to be waged between Libertarian “purists” who fault Barr for his conservatism and “pragmatists” who see the benefit of nominating a nationally known candidate with proven political ability. That ability will be tested in Denver, where the Barr campaign — which has raised more than $100,000 according to the campaign’s official website — plans to field a team of floor managers and whips to gather delegates.


  1. Chris says:

    I give Barr a slightly better than even chance to win it. After the pragmatists in the party gutted the platform at the Portland convention two years ago the radical faction planned to be in Denver in force to reinstate it. How the platform debate goes will dictate what Barr’s chances are.

    What Barr really needs is Randy Evans chairing the convention.

  2. IndyInjun says:

    It is ironic that the only hope conservatives have now in dealing with the GOP’s failure of principle is that Barr succeeds despite his lack of Libertarian principles.

    In November, folks who put principles above politics will be spending time at home, just like the unknowing, uncaring non voters.

  3. Chris,

    Will the effort by Ron Paul’s people to attend/influence the GOP convention have any impact on the LP convention?

    In other words, I wonder if any of the people participating in the GOP process would have normally attended the LP convention. If so their absence changes the dynamic at the LP convention.

  4. Bill Greene says:


    No, most of the RP folks were actually uninvolved in politics before the good Doctor cured their apathy.

    Which makes it all the more a shame how they have been ostracized from the GOP, e.g. this weekend’s state convention. A million new voters and donors sure would have helped avert the coming bloodbath this November.

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