The final numbers are in for the 2010 elections, and Libertarians had a very good year. Our party exists to give a platform to true advocates of a smaller, less intrusive government in affairs both foreign and domestic. By looking at these numbers, more Hoosiers are willing to abstain from voting for the lesser of two evils. Our party is proud to give principles an option on the ballot.
We’d like to thank all of our candidates for putting their name on the line, taking shots from the other parties while responding with grace, giving solutions to problems rather bickering and talking points, and ensuring that more Hoosiers hear our message than ever before. And most of all, we thank YOU for your vote and support.
These highlights are brief because we aren’t able to write and tell you of all of the hard work by our 99 candidates, their volunteers, or the county parties that support them. Hopefully the overall growth in these numbers speak volumes about the effort that was put forth by the Libertarian Party of Indiana this election cycle. Our party’s growth even caught the attention of Indiana’s largest newspaper this past weekend.
Here are just some of the highlights: – Rebecca Sink-Burris was involved in all three televised debates. Indiana has a debate commission, which aired the same debate across dozens of television and radio stations at the same time. The exposure to libertarian solutions to voters that hadn’t heard a Libertarian before was tremendous. She also raised a very good amount of money, giving her the ability to advertise the campaign online, on radio, and through grassroots efforts. She ended up with 5.33 percent. The last comparable result for Indiana was 2004 when Al Barger received 1.1 percent. Sink-Burris had the highest Senate result in the nation for our party.
– Mike Wherry won 5.91 percent of the vote to maintain Indiana ballot access for four more years in Indiana. We had to hit 2 percent to maintain the access that we’ve enjoyed since 1994. The last result was 3.3 percent in 2006 when Mike Kole ran for this race. Wherry is the first Libertarian in Indiana to break the 100,000 vote mark in LPIN history. In our other state-level race, Eric Knipe improved our vote totals for State Auditor from 3.4 percent in 2002 to 4.64 percent in this cycle.
– In our US House races, we improved significantly. These numbers combine US House (percentages include all 9 races in each year):
2002: 37,270; 2.4% (9 candidates)
2004: 35,470; 1.5% (7 candidates)
2006: 17,324; 1.0% (2 candidates)
2008: 47,306; 1.8% (5 candidates)
2010: 84,656; 5.2% (9 candidates)
One of the brightest spots was the first endorsement of a Libertarian candidate ever by the Indianapolis Star, Indiana’s largest newspaper. Chard Reid was our candidate in the House race against Dan Burton. Reid received the highest percentage for our US House candidates at 7.74 percent in a four way race.
All of our candidates for US House ran active races, participated in debates, and worked very hard to connect with voters. While we have had strong campaigns in top of the ticket races in the past, this was the first year in many cycles that almost all of our up-ticket races ran strong campaigns.
– Wayne County is on it’s way to becoming the second party in eastern Indiana (Richmond) after 8 years of hard work. Rex Bell was within 320 votes of beating the Democrat in a three way race. He came in second in Wayne County over the Democrat by almost 7 points. He missed second place in Randolph county by only 7 votes. He finished the race with 20.79 percent in the three way race. In 2006, Rex Bell received 6.98 percent of the vote.
– The highest percentage of our State House and Senate candidates was Brad Hyatt in House District 56 in eastern Indiana. Hyatt received 31 percent of the vote. The 2008 LP candidate received 21 percent of the vote. In 2006, the Democrat incumbent faced both a Libertarian and Republican with the Republican winning 31 percent of the vote.
– The second highest percentage in the general assembly races was House District 5 candidate Ron Cenkush at 27.97 percent. A first time candidate, Cenkush has campaigned for two years, winning a lot of local tea party endorsements and earned media. He will be using this new interest to restart the county party.
– On the local level, one township level race was won. Cheryl Heacox beat Libertarian incumbent Conley Tilson for a position on the Clay Township Advisory Board in Wayne County. This is a result of Rex Bell’s long coat tails and campaigning at local fairs.
– The highest percentage of the vote that was won on a local level by a Libertarian was by Bob Isgrigg at 37.87 percent. Isgrigg was an incumbent that left the Democratic Party to run as a Libertarian.
To see how all of the Libertarian Party of Indiana candidates fared in their races, please download this spreadsheet: click here.
CNN did an exit poll for the Indiana Senate race, and it can be found here.