Survey: Libertarian Party Members Like Ron Paul More Than Gary Johnson

New LP Membership Survey Encourages Us To Dig Deeper

by Avens O’Brien

A new poll was released today, by Hammer of Truth. This poll was actually sent out to Libertarian Party membership, which sets it apart from online polls where anyone can answer. This survey was conducted between May 17-20th, and was answered by 1,563 Libertarian Party members — some of whom are delegates to the National Convention this coming weekend.

The first pieces of data released in the introduction seem very interesting, such as Gary Johnson holding a 44-point lead over his nearest competitor (Austin Petersen), and current LNC Chair Nicholas Sarwark holding a 40-point lead over his nearest competitor (Mark Rutherford), however if you dive into the details you’ll see very important qualifiers to the data, which indicates that this poll may have no or little bearing on the results we’ll see in Orlando:

Only 10% of the 1,563 individuals surveyed are either a state delegate or alternate. This means 156 people. The current count of delegates and alternates in the LP’s official list (available to members) is roughly 1300. The number who will attend the convention itself may be different. However, this survey only represents roughly 12% of the potential voting delegates/alternates, and by no means indicates how the vote may go.

Libertarian Party delegates are not subject to the unit rule, which means they are not obligated to vote in a way that represents their state, the results of their states’ straw poll, or any other obligation. They can vote their conscience, and they can change their vote moments before the vote. They can indicate a preference and then see the debate or meet the candidate at the convention and change their mind entirely. So no matter how much you poll, there’s no telling what will happen in Orlando.

Among those 156 people who indicated they’d be a delegate or alternate in Orlando, 60.9% said they plan to vote for Gary Johnson, followed with 16.7% for Austin Petersen, 9.6% for John McAfee and 8.3% for Darryl Perry.

Among those same 156 people, 59.6% said they’d vote for Nicholas Sarwark for Chair, followed by 14.7% for Mark Rutherford, 12.8% for other.

Among all individuals surveyed:

  • 88.4% were male, compared to 11.6% female.
  • The largest age demographic was 50-64, at 32.2%, however millennials (18-34) made up 18.2%, and 35-49 year olds made up 27.1%. Respondents over 65 were 20.2%.
  • 36%  had attended post-graduate school.
  • 61.7%  are married.
  • 87.1% were white.
  • Ron Paul had a higher favorability rating than Gary Johnson or any of the other candidates running for president.
  • “Promoting Libertarian policies” was voted as “should be the priority” of both the campaigns/candidates and the Party itself.
  • The new logo had an approval rating of 87.1%.
  • For the question “how long have you been registered as a Libertarian?”, the largest group was less than 1 year (28.5%) followed by more than 20 years (19.9%).
  • Volunteer rates included the recent – “within the past 3 months” getting 45.3% of the vote, and the lapsed – “more than 2 years ago” getting 34.1%.

It would be tremendously interesting to see how the preferences for candidates for President and Chair may have changed within the age or gender demographics. Perhaps folks at Hammer of Truth could give us more relational insight.

Go check out the results for yourself here.

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