Rachel DiCarlo of the Weekly

Rachel DiCarlo of the Weekly Standard argues that Libertarian candidates cost Republicans a number of victories in addition to the Senate race in South Dakota. As Rocket Man noted over the weekend when discussing the South Dakota race, these kinds of claims can be difficult to assess. For example, one of DiCarlo’s examples is Wisconsin where the Republican gubernatorial candidate lost by 68,000 votes. Although the Libertarian candidate captured about three times that number of votes, it’s awfully speculative to say that, absent his presence, enough of these voters would have supported the Republican to have made the difference. This is particularly true if, as DiCarlo suggests, Libertarian candidates are running to the “left” of Republicans, differing on social issues such as gay rights and drug legalization, and supporting an isolationist foreign policy. Nonetheless, DiCarlo has identified a real probem for Republicans.

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