Al Barger, Indiana Libertarian for US Senate 2004: The Judgment
Democrat Evan Bayh 1,495,250 - 62%
Republican Marvin Scott 904,843 - 37%
Libertarian Albert Barger 27,966 - 1%
To be honest, I was pretty disappointed with these numbers. I was hoping for 100K votes. Ah, well. You do what you can.
One thing, though: I said what I intended to say. I got my two cents in as best I knew how, so there's nothing to regret.
Generally, it appears that third parties and independent candidates were just totally shut down all across the country this cycle. Indiana has one of the strongest couple of Libertarian parties in the nation, and our numbers looked like they were off by half or more from the last cycle. Nader was totally shut down, too.
I've seen such things before. It appears that voters generally were looking to settle some big ol' war and peace issues, and just weren't interested in considering independent candidates at all.
On another basis of comparison, I ran somewhere in the middle of the Indiana Libertarian pack. I got something like half again the votes that our presidential candidate received. Our gubernatorial candidate Kenn Gividen got about 4K more votes than me. Our best result this year was ever lovin' Joe Hauptman, who got 68K votes for Superintendent of Public Instruction, for right at 3%.
On the other hand, it has been suggested that we got something close to as many votes as recent cycles, but that there were just a whole lot more new or infrequent voters watering down the percentages. Maybe. Actually, with late numbers trickling in, it appears that Badnarik got a few thousand more national votes for president than Browne did in 2000- with less than half the money.
One election return, however, meant particularly much to me. Charlie Kennedy voted for me, which may not mean anything to anyone else, but was important to me personally.
I first met Charlie Kennedy a few years ago at an open Libertarian forum in Indy. By way of protesting against the water and sewage systems, he came in with his water bill pinned to his shirt. That's when I fell in love with him. He puts me strongly in mind of my favorite uncle, the late Helmuth Fields. One of us, one of us! It was ol' cantankerous Uncle Charlie that placed my name in nomination at our convention in 2000 in my unsuccessful bid to be nominated for the other Indiana US Senate seat.
However, Charlie is adamantly opposed to the Iraq war, and was heavy of heart some months ago when he said that he couldn't vote for me. I felt real bad about that, but there was nothing I could do.
Election night, we had a nearly tearful reunion, though. Charlie just had to vote for me, regardless of his deep reservations. Voting for someone who supports the Iraq effort was really difficult for him, and it means a lot to me.
In conclusion then, I said my piece, made new friends, and learned quite a bit. Evan Bayh is by far the most popular politician in this state, so there's nothing wrong with getting beaten by the top gun. I think I would have done a better job, but the republic will surely survive.