Two polls continue to show a disconnect between what they say they feel and how they would vote. Gallup shows that a whopping 60% of voters believe the government is too big and intrusive. This isn’t surprising given the recent revelations that the Obama administration enhanced their information-gathering techniques on American citizens.
Obamacare remains incredibly unpopular and the bad parts have only just begun to kick in. The government wants to know what you eat. They want to know everything you do. Obama’s EPA drops “global warming” regulations that limit consumer choice and make energy prices soar.
Such sentiments would seem to favor candidates who actually support smaller government, candidates like Rand Paul. But instead, polls show Hillary Clinton would be the preference of voters. And the one Republican who does do well in a match-up against Hillary is Chris Christie, who isn’t exactly a small government guy himself.
Of course, people saying the government is too big doesn’t necessarily mean they want it to change especially when changing it might take away one of their own specially-carved perks.
Will Robert Sarvis Play “Spoiler” In Virginia Gubernatorial Contest?
Recent polls show Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis on the rise in the 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial race that features unpopular nominees nominees from the Republican and Democratic sides. Recent polls have Sarvis getting as much as 10% of the vote in a three way race. But how strong is his support and who does he really hurt? Logic would dictate that a Libertarian candidate would hurt the Republican more given that they are so fiscally conservative. On social issues, libertarians have varying beliefs. Some are pro-life like both Rand and Ron Paul, while other libertarians are not. In either case, libertarians are almost always strongly in favor of states rights and in opposition to a large federal and state government, a belief strongly rejected by liberals. While liberal voters do not seem like a logical fit for the libertarian candidate at first glance, other factors can come into play. In this case, Sarvis has the potential to collect protest votes (from voters who dislike both major party candidates) while also gaining non-Republican single-issuer voters from those attracted to his advocacy of gay marriage and drug legalization. Does Sarvis necessarily hurt one candidate or another overall? Here are some tidbits to consider:
The Roanoke College Poll shows Sarvis collecting 16% of the 18-29 year old crowd. This probably has plenty to do with his stances on gay marriage (he even uses the “equality” sign on his website) and drug legalization. Those voters would typically not be Cuccinelli voters. At the same time, they might not have shown up to vote at all. The same poll shows Sarvis doing best with moderate voters, and he attracts 10% of those. But he attracts almost twice as many self-identified liberals (7%) as he does self-identified conservatives (4%). In fact, Cuccinelli get’s more liberals (7%) that Starvis does conservatives. So his core support clearly is not the tea party crowd.
A separate Quinnipiac Poll shows that the libertarian candidate’s support is relatively soft. Only half of current Sarvis voters say they will definitely vote for him in November, compared to roughly 8 in 10 McAuliffe and Cuccinelli voters who say the same. At the same time, 30% of Cuccinelli voters are very enthusiastic to vote for him. McAuliffe is close behind with 27%, while just 15% of Sarvis voters are very enthusiastic about voting for him. These numbers are often good indicators of future turnout and suggest a large chunk of his current supporters are protest voters.
Right now, the Virginia race is close. If Sarvis gets 10% of the votes in November, he might be considered a spoiler. He could cost McAuliffe as many votes as he could cost Cuccinelli. But in reality, he won’t be costing anyone votes. If the candidates can’t convince their own voters to vote for them, that seems to be more their problem. They both have about 6 weeks to fix that…