If Ron Paul doesn't win the Pub nomination, would he run as a Libertarian?

If Ron Paul does not win the Republican nomination for POTUS – and I don’t see how he can, even with the grassroots surge he’s getting – might he switch over and run as the Libertarian Party candidate? According to the LP website, they’re still in the process of picking a candidate. I know Paul left the LP some time ago, I don’t know if he burned any bridges. But such a campaign, while it still would not make Paul POTUS, would draw more attention to the Libertarian ticket – and party – than it has ever enjoyed before. That might work a lasting change on the political landscape of the U.S. (For one thing, the Libs might be in a position to demand some real voting-system reform, favorable to third parties in general.)

I offer this suggestion to Libertarians in a pure, disinterested spirit of reformist comradeship. That a Paul-LP campaign would draw away many more votes from the Pub candidate than the Dem plays no role in my thinking here, not at all. :slight_smile:

Be a little weird having a sitting GOP congressman run as a third party candidate at the same time.

I sure hope so…

Well, my friend who is a bit fan of Paul HOPES that he will. That in itself probably indicates we are in snowballs chance in hell range.

I doubt he will, personally. My guess is that he will concede at some point fairly soon with the hopes of leveraging his voter base into some influence with whoever eventually wins the nomination.

However, I haven’t really followed Paul that closely…I started my own thread asking about him just a month or so ago because I knew next to nothing about the man, save that one of my friends is a big fan of his. What I know about him basically came from that thread so…YMMV.


He already ran once, back in 1988, and he got all of 431,750 votes. He might get a few more this time, but that was actually one of the higher vote totals that the Libs have gotten in recent elections, so maybe not.

He is sitting on a ready made national presidential campaign, with large amounts of cash and a lot of very motivated supporters. And he’d draw not only the libertarian vote away from the Repubs (especially if they choose socially conservative, fiscally less so Huckabee), but also some of the anti-war vote from Dems, as I’d bet he’ll be willing to give a much firmer comitment for withdrawing troops then whoever the eventual Dem nominee is.

I imagine he’d end up loosing any influence he has in congress though, as the GOP would hate him for it. So I guess it comes down to whether he wants to retire from the House yet or not.

I do imagine that he’d draw a LOT more Republican votes than Democratic. While his anti-Iraq-war principles sound good at first, it comes in a package that’s incredibly unattractive to the average Democrat (including pro-life, anti-social-spending and pro-gun components). If he were to switch to Libertarian in the general, those “hidden” (not really, but they’re certainly not talked about as much at this point as the anti-Iraq-war ones) principles are going to come out.

Maybe, but no one is going to vote for him thinking that he’s actually going to be president. Instead, he’ll draw protest votes, and I imagine people protesting the Iraq war are basically just going to care what he thinks about the Iraq war and not worry that he’s going to actually end up making us pay for our abortions with Gold-backed currency or whatever the rest of his platform is.

I wonder if he has any to lose.

He must come from a real interesting district in Texas.

According to at least one (and I think two) interviews I’ve read, he says he has no intention as running on the Libertarian ticket. Of course, this could be fronting in order to get more votes, but I don’t think so. He wants a fight he has a non-zero chance of winning, and in the interview he said something along the lines of “we’re not a democratic nation because there is no way for the third party to win the presidency, and I wouldn’t run as such”. I’m trying to find the interview, but my connection is pretty spotty right now (holiday travel, oof), so I don’t think I’ll be able to.

Edit: This isn’t the interview I read, but has the correct information:

Then again, maybe not. Nader’s 2000 candidacy does not appear to have had much lasting benefit for the Greens.

Oh really? Then why did one of the guys running against Nader just win a Nobel prize for promoting Green issues?

I don’t know if you can thank Nader’s run for it, but you have to admit, over the past seven years the Green party platform has gone mainstream.

Paul stated on Meet the Press this morning that he is 99.9% certain he won’t run as an “independent.” (Presumably, he meant running as a lbtn when he said “independent”.) I’d love to see Paul stay in this race regardless of the letter beside his name on the ballot. He is, IMHO, the best candidate by far excluding the even more obscure Steve Kubby.

But what have you heard out of the Green Party lately?

It’s always that way with third parties in American politics: When they get noticed, one of the main parties coopts some of the more mainstream-acceptable elements of their platform and the third party itself languishes. The Socialists ran out of steam not long after FDR included some of their demands in the New Deal. An American third party has been compared to “the bee that stings and dies.”

He could run with Lieberma as a running mate. That would be fun.

To be fair to Gore, he was working on the global warming issue long before the 2000 election.

Not sure if an election 20 years ago is a very good predictor for his chances today. Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1976, and couldn’t even get nominated.

But this year appears to be Paul’s Moment. His campaign is doing unexpectedly well at the grassroots – better than any Lib candidacy has done. All that support would be transferred to the Lib ticket if Paul switched over.

I voted Libertarian in the last 3 elections…but seriously, even if this is ‘Paul’s Moment’, we are MAYBE talking about 5% of the vote…if he’s VERY lucky. Ok, let’s go wild and crazy and say he gets 10%…or even 20% ( :dubious: ). So what? He’s still not going to come close to getting elected. He would have more influence if he stayed with the Republicans at this point and leveraged his support to whoever eventually comes out on top. He might be able to translate that into some actual influence in the party if that is what he is after…or maybe a juicy appointment if that is what floats his boat.

If he goes Lib, even if he DOES manage the seemingly impossible and gets more than 5% of the vote, he won’t be able to leverage that into anything at all.


Why? Third parties often nominate or endorse mainstream candidates all the time. There may be Republican Party rules that would make this a no-no for a Presidential bid if they don’t already have the Republican nomination, but third parties have no problem with endorsing any candidate who they think will best represent their interests.