Fresh after earning record-breaking vote totals in the 2014 elections, the Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) has achieved another milestone in their quest to become a major political party. The LPF announced today, February 10, 2015, that the number of registered Libertarians in Florida grew by an impressive 12.68% in the fourth quarter of 2014. During that same period, the Republican Party grew by a mere 0.2%, while Democrat registration fell by 0.009%.
As the two parties in power remained statistically flat late last year, Libertarians like 2014 gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie attribute their rapid growth to the popularity of the Libertarian message, and claim they are the only legitimate alternative to the two-party duopoly. “It’s not surprising that the Republican and Democrat parties are stagnant, while the Libertarian Party is growing rapidly. We’re the only party offering common-sense government solutions that benefit everybody,” said Wyllie.
While Libertarians were once relegated to the sidelines of Florida politics, their clout, both in Tallahassee and on Main Street, has grown dramatically in recent years. By promoting policies of substantially lower taxes, privacy rights, a free-market economy and civil liberties, they may have tapped into a popular shift among Florida voters. Despite being outspent nearly 1000-to-1 by his opponents, Wyllie received over 223,000 votes for Governor in 2014, which was the largest vote total for a minor-party candidate in Florida history. LPF candidates like Bill Wohlsifer for Attorney General and Lucas Overby for Congress also broke new ground for Libertarians in their respective races.
If the 58% of Floridians that voted in favor of medical marijuana in the last election are any indication, Libertarians may find themselves on the winning side of more issues in 2016 and beyond. LPF Chairwoman Dana Moxley-Cummings believes this is only the beginning. “Voters do not want any part of the entangled mess the two-party system has become, and they are making it known in every way possible. The Libertarian Party offers the only organized response to the establishment. I wouldn’t expect anything less than for this trend to continue,” said Moxley-Cummings.
They call it the 5% Initiative. Their goal is to register 5% of Florida voters as Libertarians, which would grant the LPF “major party” status under state law. If the current voter registration trend continues, the Libertarian Party could be recognized by the state as major political party in as few as six years, putting them on equal footing with Republicans and Democrats.
“If you ask 100 people on the street, about one third of them will agree with the Libertarian platform right down the line,” said Wyllie. “There’s already millions of Libertarians out there, but they just don’t know there’s a political party that believes what they do. We’re going to tell them.”