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Third party problems: Where are the Libertarians?

September 16. 2018 7:12PM

The State of New Hampshire threw a party last week, and hardly anyone showed up.

Overall turnout was relatively high in last week’s primary. Republicans had two closely-contested congressional races. The Democratic races for governor and in the First Congressional District weren’t as tight, but they drove Democratic turnout to the highest it has been in a primary.

The Libertarian Party gained full ballot status in 2016, and got to hold its own primary for the first time in 20 years.

But barely 1,000 voters picked up a Libertarian ballot, with Jilletta Jarvis capturing the party’s gubernatorial nomination over Aaron Day. This does not bode well for Libertarians keeping their ballot status. Jarvis would need to get 4 percent of the vote in November.

Former state Rep. Max Abramson unlocked major party status for Libertarians by winning 4.3 percent of the vote for governor two years ago. But he’s back to being a Republican, running for his former seat in Seabrook. Libertarians have squandered their chance to field a credible slate, putting up just a handful of candidates statewide.

Given a rare chance to challenge the two-party duopoly of Republicans and Democrats, the New Hampshire Libertarian Party stumbled badly.

Politics Editorial

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