As Americans who are paying attention are all too aware, it is imperative for the GOP to regain control of the U.S. Senate. With Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid playing hand-in-glove with a president who disregards congress as irrelevant and has repeatedly made good on his vow to use the power of executive actions to bypass the Republican-controlled House, the urgency of winning the midterm senatorial elections is undeniable
But Republicans face a substantial problem, and it isn’t coming from the left. Game-playing Libertarians present a new wild card, with the potential of gumming up these vital elections by siphoning votes in crucial races from Republican candidates.
A key 2014 race is in New Hampshire, where Libertarian candidate Gardner Goldsmith is complicating Republican former senator Scott Brown’s bid to unseat Democrat incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Brown trails Shaheen by 10 percentage points (42 – 52) with Goldsmith taking 2 points and 9 percent of voters still undecided, according to most recent polling.
Although Goldsmith’s 2 percentage points might appear too small to decide the race, politicos contend New Hampshire voters have a history of supporting independent candidates, which means that Goldsmith could take a hefty chunk of the undecided vote and decisively block any hope of a Brown victory.
North Carolina is also dealing with a Libertarian spoiler. Sean Haugh a perennial candidate, open-borders supporter and pizza delivery guy is attempting to throw ice water on Republican plans to defeat Sen. Kay Hagan, considered one of the most vulnerable Democrat incumbent senators.
This Aug. 7, 2014 Rasmussen survey shows Thom Tillis edging Hagan 45-to-40 percent, with Haugh taking 6 percent of the vote, though other polls show Haugh hitting 11 percent. The odds of the Libertarian winning are nil, but his ability to botch the election is formidable. Those odds increase should he qualify for the senatorial debate series which begin Sept. 3.
The Libertarian Party goes to great lengths to mask its spoiler image, oddly claiming it has broader appeal. “Gay marriage, less taxes, there’s overlap there,” Libertarian Party President Wes Benedict recently claimed in a Fox news report. “From a marketing perspective, we want to distinguish ourselves from Democrats and Republicans. But we do want to attract voters from both sides,” he admits.
This Washington Post July report provides an overview of Libertarian efforts to swing control of the U.S. Senate away from the GOP.
Here in Arizona, Sen. Jeff Flake and Attorney General challenger Mark Brnovich run as Republicans but have roots deep in Libertarian soil. Both have worked for the Libertarian — not Republican — Goldwater Institute. It should come as no surprise that Flake supports Brnovich’s candidacy.