Tag: Midterm

Why the 2018 Midterms are Important to the Libertarian Party

By Josh Hughes | United States

This year’s midterm elections are sure to be a lot of things. In the hectic, chaotic world of politics today, a lot of people find themselves confused and without a platform. There are hundreds of thousands of Republicans unhappy with President Trump and the current state of the GOP-controlled Congress. On the flip side, there are just as many moderate Democrats that are tired of the extreme direction the Democratic Party is headed towards. For this reason, the Libertarian Party needs to step up.

Average Voter Turnout Issues

It’s no secret that eligible voters are far less likely to vote in the midterms. In a FairVote poll, the 2014 midterm had about 25% less turnout than the 2016 Presidential election. Voter apathy in the United States is also a very large issue, with statistics that nationwide, eligible voter turnout rarely reaches 63%, at best. While there are many programs that work hard to get people to register to vote, the truth is no one can force voters to come out in November. With almost two-thirds of voters staying home in 2014, there is a large cache of untapped support.

If Libertarians were to launch a campaign from the bottom up, trying to sway voters to come out and support them this fall, there could be a large swing in favor of America’s third largest party. Convincing just 15% of the 65% of people who usually don’t vote would be huge. Without a doubt, it would lead to record support for local libertarian candidates.

The Libertarian Party can Gain Votes

While the media pushes the polarized agenda of today’s politics, the fact of the matter is the majority of voters are fairly moderate. That said, a lot of people on both sides are unhappy with the current state of their respective parties. In a Pew Research study of voters, 34% said their vote would be primarily a vote against President Trump. That’s 34% of people who would vote purely against Trump and his Republican agenda.

Admittedly, the majority of those votes will probably be in favor of a Democratic candidate. However, the reality is a large percentage of traditional Republicans aren’t happy with Trump. So, many of these votes will likely turn into non-voters this fall.

This does not have to be the case. A lot of voters are ignorant of the legitimacy of third parties. If the Libertarian Party put more resources into garnering attention at the local level, a lot of Republicans would turn in their favor. With the fall season coming up, it would be wise if Libertarians would advertise with a booth containing party platform points. Running ads in papers, on TV, on radio stations, would also help. American voters are notoriously ignorant, and tunnel vision plagues them. Thus, if Libertarians want to become serious contenders, they must make the effort to show voters their message.

What Liberty-minded Individuals can Do

Everyday people can make real changes. The idea that your voice can’t make a difference is far outdated. In this era of social media, one can reach out to hundreds with the click of a button. It can also be as simple as starting a conversation at your job or school. It’s amazing how much a five-minute conversation can do to someone who is already on the fence. Simply showing others your voice can spark an interest that could turn into votes.

If we genuinely want to see this year’s midterm be different from the rest, it’ll take an effort from all of us. The truth is, the Libertarian Party doesn’t have the resources to reach out to people like the Democrats or the GOP do. Donate to your local candidate. Volunteer to help on a campaign. Also, spread the idea of individualism and liberty in your community. This year could be huge for the Libertarian Party, and it would be terrible to waste an opportunity like this.


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Lena Epstein Wins Michigan Republican Primary

By James Sweet III | Michigan

Based on reported results for the Michigan House District 11 race, 71 Republic can safely announce that Lena Epstein will become the Republican nominee for the general election. At 12:49 AM EST, Epstein garnered 30% of the vote with 74% of precincts reporting in. She received no national endorsements, but raised the most funds in the primary election.

The incumbent representative is Republican Dave Trott. The district, however, was won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election by 4.4%. With major Democratic figures like Hillary Clinton endorsing candidates for their primaries, and no major Republicans endorsing candidates in their respective primary, it is possible that Democrats could win this toss-up of a primary in the general election.


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LIVE COVERAGE: Washington 8th Congressional District Primary

By Kenneth Casey | United States

2:36 EST: Although a lot of time has passed, not much has changed since the last update. 68% of the vote is in with Dino Rossi sitting at 43% and the two Democrats who are completely amongst each other for the opportunity to face Rossi in the general election sit are still neck-neck, with Scrier at 18.8% and Rittereiser at 17.6%.


11:54 EST: At 64% of the vote in, all eyes are on the two Democrats. With Dino Rossi securing a spot in the general election, the race is now between Kim Scrier and Jim Rittereiser over who’ll be the Democrat to challenge him in the general election. So far, Scrier is sitting at 18.9% of the vote and Rittereiser is at 17.5%. Still too early to call.


11:25 EST: At 40% precincts reporting, Dino Rossi is safely at the top with 41% of the vote and will easily advance to the general election. It’s still too early to decide whether Democrat Kim Scrier (20% of the vote) or Jim Rittereiser (17% of the vote) will advance to the general election to take on Rossi. Stay tuned.


11:19 EST: More votes have come in. With 29% of precincts reporting, the top two candidates so far are Dino Rossi with 42.5% of the vote and Kim Schrier with 19.6% of the vote. Jason Rittereiser is slightly behind with 16.9%.


11:13 EST: The first results are in. With 22% precincts reporting, Republican Dino Rossi is leading the way with 40.8% of the vote with Democrat Kim Schrier placing 2nd so far with 20.5% of the vote. Democrats Jason Rittereiser and Shannon Hader trail behind with 17.6% and 13.6% of the vote, respectively.


10:43 EST: Results are scheduled to start coming in at 11:08 EST. Stay tuned for updates.


One of the most interesting House races in the country is the upcoming race in Washington’s 8th Congressional District. Although Dave Reichert, the Republican incumbent in the seat, won his election by 20 points in 2016, the Democratic nominee for President has carried the district in the past three presidential elections. With Reichert retiring, however, this race will likely be more competitive.

Washington has a Jungle Primary. Instead of separate Republican and Democratic Primaries, all of the candidates run in the same primary. Then, the top two candidates with the most votes move on to face each other in the general election.

Many expect Republican State Senator Dina Rossi to move on to the general election in November. However, the 2nd candidate is unclear. Democrats are running 3 valid candidates: Pediatrician Kim Schrier, Prosecutor Jason Rittereiser, and CDC Official Shannon Hader, and the Democratic Party of Washington have stayed out of the race. Results will likely start to come in around 11:00 EST.


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The Midterms Are Coming, Faster Than Ever

By Harrison Lavella | USA

As the 2018 Midterms chug ever closer, 71Republic takes a look at the standing of the current races and observes the results of past election to justify the present situation. So, just like any other election year, there are safe seats, and contested seats. The ratings according to 71Republic’s Newest Race Ratings, brought to you by me, my ratings are compared to other political sights below.

Overall: 71Republic predicts the Senate at 50-50, with Republicans having the Majority through Vice President Pence, at the present moment.

Our Race Ratings are listed below:

Safe Independent

Vermont, Maine

Both these Independents: Sanders and King respectively caucus with the Democrats at the present.

Safe Democratic

Connecticut (Sen. Murphy), Massachusetts (Sen. Warren), Rhode Island (Sen. Whitehouse), New Jersey (Senator Menendez), New York (Senator Gillibrand), Delaware (Sen. Carper), Maryland (Senator Cardin), Hawaii (Sen. Hirono), California (Sen. Feinstein), Washington (Sen. Cantwell), New Mexico (Sen. Heinrich), Minnesota (Sen. Klobuchar), Michigan (Sen. Stabenow), Wisconsin (Sen. Baldwin).

Safe Republican

Utah (Sen. Hatch), Wyoming (Sen. Barrasso), Nebraska (Sen. Fischer), Mississippi (Sen. Wicker)

Sen. Hatch is one of three incumbent Republican senators to announce their 2018 retirements, the PPT of the Senate, and the longtime member will not run for re-election in 2018.

Leaning Democratic

Pennsylvania (Sen. Casey), West Virginia (Sen. Manchin), Virginia (Sen. Kaine), Florida (Sen. Nelson), Minnesota Special (Sen. Smith), Montana (Sen. Tester)

Leaning Republican

Tennessee (Sen. Corker)*, Texas (Sen. Cruz)

Sen. Corker also announced his retirement from the Senate, saying he will not run for re-election in the 2018 cycle as a Class 1 senator.

TOSSUP

North Dakota (Sen. Heitkamp), Indiana (Sen. Donnelly), Arizona (Sen. Flake)*, Missouri (Sen. McCaskill), Nevada (Sen. Heller).


*Retiring


Image from the Sophian.