Virginia's Libertarian Candidate for Governor Votes, Speaks

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 5 2013 1:58 PM

Virginia's Libertarian Candidate for Governor Votes, Speaks

169196677
He did.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—"Have you been following the smear campaign?" asks Robert Sarvis.

The Libertarian candidate for governor, whose high-single-digit/low-double-digit poll numbers have surprised worried Republicans all year, voted today in a Northern Virginia precinct with little evidence of Republican support. "My wife and I went together, so I've got at least two votes," says Sarvis.

Advertisement

He's amused at the late-game rumors that cast him as the willful tool of Democratic spoilers. "There are probably half a dozen to a dozen blog posts out there, and a new one today about the Libertarian booster's PAC, which helped us fund the petition drive—one of their donors was previously an Obama donor, so I'm supposed to be a stooge for Obama now," he says. About a rumor that Democrats collected petitions for him: "I was the one collecting my petitions from all the petitioners, so I would have seen that."

I ask Sarvis whether some polls that show him "taking" more votes from Democrats than Republicans had surprised him. "No, we knew we'd pull from both sides. There are different polls out there, about where the vote is coming from, but the voter dissastisfaction is real."

And how did he stay at 8–10 percent in the polls, when—months ago—Republicans assumed he'd collapse like third partiers always do?

"It's the voter dissastisfaction combined with how I ran a mainstream campaign that people considered a legitimate option. The advertising from the PAC helped, definitely. The fact that we kept running the campaign by getting in front of people helped, too—I have to thank all the people who actually got out there, campaigned for me, waved signs."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.