Politics

Poll: Libertarians Are, In Fact, Voting For Romney

A Reason-Rupe poll shows that libertarians (defined loosely) will turn out for Romney after all.

Brian Snyder / Reuters

A new poll from Reason Magazine indicates that the Republicans shouldn’t worry too much about losing libertarians yet — most of those polled said they’re voting Romney/Ryan.

“If the election were held today, the Romney/Ryan ticket would get more libertarian votes than any candidate since 1980,” writes the Cato Institute’s David Kirby.

Among likely libertarian voters, the poll had 77% voting for Romney and 21% for Obama. With the addition of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, 70% still said they’d vote Romney, with 14% going to Johnson. Kirby writes that statistically, adding Johnson “is a wash for Romney.”

The poll sample doesn’t include self-identified, capital-L Libertarians, though — instead, Cato’s analysis of the poll takes people who indicated a preference for free markets and less government as libertarians. The truly hard-line Ron Paul fans are unlikely to come out en masse on Election Day for Romney — I’ve spoken to dozens who said they’d rather write-in Paul or not vote at all than vote for Romney.

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