While Haugh Gives Serious Answers, Hagan and Tillis Bicker

In case you missed the debate—or just want to see a replay of Sean Haugh, Libertarian for U.S. Senate, giving serious, thoughtful answers to moderator Jon Evans’ questions while the other two mostly recited talking points and traded petty personal accusations. Here is the replay.

For most of the debate, Sen. Kay Hagan and Speaker Thom Tillis attacked each other and repeated the talking points from their campaign ads.  Only Sean spoke directly to the issues throughout the debate.

In my opinion, Sean won the debate hands down. He actually answered the questions and addressed the issues. What a concept. But I am slightly biased, since he brought me into the Libertarian Party of North Carolina and is a good friend.

Here are some notable comments on Haugh’s performance.

He was who he is. And when you are comfortable enough in your own skin, that is something that comes across as, I think, genuineness. (Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College in the Greensboro News & Record. The article also lead with a comment about Sean being included in the debate.)

The News & Observer also used this quote from Professor Bitzer in their sidebar analysis:

The interesting dynamic for the folks watching was Sean Haugh, who seemed to present both social and economic libertarianism that Democratic and Republican supporters would find appealing. In the end, Haugh may end up drawing enough votes to allow the ultimate winner to claim victory with less than 50 percent of the vote.

The Raleigh newspaper headlined their main story story “Interesting dynamic from Haugh in third debate for NC’s US Senate seat.”

The News & Observer also quoted David McLennan, Meredith College political science professor, in their analysis:

Voters who watched the debate were fortunate that Libertarian Sean Haugh was included because he broke up the relentless attack lines. I don’t think public opinion shifted as a result of the debate, except that Haugh may have created the possibility that neither Hagan nor Tillis reaches 50 percent on Nov. 4.

Not unsurprisingly, the Wilmington Star News, the major newspaper in the city where the debate was held, almost ignored Haugh in their story.

Other coverage

Asheville Citizen-Times

Charlotte Observer

Winston-Salem Journal

WECT-TV

Libertarians conduct first ever US Senate candidate forum

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina held its first ever U.S. Senate candidate forum April 5 during the annual state convention in Durham. Candidates Tim D’Annunzio of Raeford and Sean Haugh of Durham answered questions submitted by Libertarians from across the state. The forum was streamed live and moderated by Barry Smith, Carolina Journal associate editor.

Watch here.

Continue reading »

Election predictions

The good news about the 2012 election is that it appears there may be a record turn-out. Unfortunately, since American voter turnout is so abysmally in the first place, that’s not saying much. I doubt we’ll approach the 80-90 percent voter turnout rate common in other democratic countries, even in those countries the United States has “made” democracies.

The bad news is that if you think the election will be over tomorrow, think again. I’m no political expert, but here are my predictions for 2012. I think President Barack Obama will be re-elected with a majority of the electoral vote – but Gov. Mitt Romney will get the plurality in the popular vote. This will send the Republicans into legal hysteria to rival that of the Democrats in the 2000 election.

And no one on Fox News will bat any eye when the GOP resorts to the same legalistic, obstructionist, word-parsing antics the Democrats engaged in in 2000. They’ll challenge the vote in every single state where it’s close, claiming “voter fraud,” “voter suppression,” or any other excuse they can come up with.

And the election could wind up being decided, probably wrongly again, by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In North Carolina, I predict that not only will Barbara Howe get more than two percent of the vote, thus keeping the Libertarian Party on the ballot, but Gov. Gary Johnson will earn enough votes to be the margin of difference between Romney and Obama, to Romney’s detriment.

This will inevitable lead to Republicans claiming that Romney “lost” the state because of Johnson. But I also predict that exit polls and post-election analysis will point out that Johnson will have earned the votes of both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans,and many unaffiliated voters. Of course, the Republicans won’t let the facts get in the way.

On the other hand, if the presidential vote goes the other way, I’m sure the Democrats will make the same charge they “lost” the state because of the Libertarians, since the won’t be able to blame the Greens who are not on the ballot.

Another scenario some experts have discussed, and one which I really like, postulates the possibility of an Electoral College tie. It is possible. This would mean that, under the U.S. Constitution, the newly elected U.S. House of Representatives will select the president, voting by states; and the new U.S. Senate will select the vice president.

Assuming things go as expected, that would mean a Republican-controlled U.S. House electing Mitt Romney president, and a Democratic-controlled U.S.Senate re-electing Joe Biden vice president.

What I like about this scenario is that it would initiate (maybe ignite is a better word) a debate on abolishing the Electoral College. It may be possible, once the hysterical rhetoric, illogical and unreasonable arguments are dispensed with, to actually educate Americans about how the Electoral College came to be, and why it is a good thing.