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Libertarian Candidates Can Win in Traditionally Blue States

By Drew Martin | 06/12/2013

Can libertarianism lead to GOP victories in blue states? Rand Paul says yes.

The junior senator from Kentucky has been trekking through historically Democratic strongholds lately to test this theory. Most recently, he visited arguably the bluest of blue states, California.

Speaking with giants from Silicon Valley, Paul sought to explore the potential for Republicans to reach an electorate they have longed forfeited.

Writing in the Washington Times, Paul said, “I think Republicans will not be a national party again until we can compete everywhere, every time, for every vote-coast to coast.”

The need for revitalizing the party’s outreach to a broader voter base has been discussed at length since the 2012 elections. Paul argues the answer lies not in a more moderate party, but a “libertarian-leaning conservatism” that seeks tolerance and less government.

Can it work? GOP strategist Jon Yob considered this last April on the Michigan-based show, Off the Record, when asked if libertarian Congressman Justin Amash could win Democratic Senator Carl Levin’s seat at the end of his term:

“…If Mr. Amash runs and he wins, then you know the notion will be…Rand Paul’s a strong candidate because he can appeal to Democrat voters in blue states. If he loses it’s the opposite.”

National Journal’s Tim Alberta had similar thoughts:

Amash is a unique politician with the potential to transcend traditional party appeal. He preaches transparency and accountability, having never missed a vote in Congress. (He also writes lengthy notes on his Facebook page explaining every vote.) His isolationist streak has earned him a following among young people. His Arab-American heritage makes him appealing to minorities. He’s the rare politician with fans at both the American Civil Liberties Union and Right to Life.


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