Connecticut 5-Way Senate Debate Appears to Help Lieberman

On October 18, the 5 candidates for U.S. Senate in Connecticut debated each other. They were the nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Green and Constitution Parties, and incumbent Joe Lieberman, who is the nominee of his own party, the Connecticut for Lieberman Party. The debate drew considerable attention, including a major article in the New York Times that quoted all five candidates.

A Quinnipiac Poll was released on October 20. It is the first poll announced since the debate, and it shows that Senator Lieberman increased his lead. The results: Lieberman 52%, Lamont (Dem) 35%, Schlesinger (Rep) 6%, other and undecided 7%.

Alabama Ballot Access Hearing Will be Week of January 27, 2007

The 11th circuit will hold a hearing in Swanson v Worley the week of January 27, 2007, in Montgomery, Alabama. This is the challenge to Alabama ballot access laws for minor parties and non-presidential independent candidates. Alabama requires a petition of 3% of the last gubernatorial vote, the highest in the nation, when one compares the states by looking at the easier method to get on the ballot (minor party and independent).

Constitutional challenges to petition requirements for minor parties are pending in Alabama, Alaska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Wyoming Libertarians Likely to Qualify for Major Party Status This Year

The Libertarian Party has been a qualified minor party in Wyoming continuously since 1994, except that between 2002 and 2004, it was a qualified major party. Major parties nominate by primary; minor parties nominate by convention. A “major party” is one that polls 10% for certain statewide races. One of the qualifying posts is Secretary of State. This year, as in 2002, the Democrats aren’t running anyone for Wyoming Secretary of State. Therefore, as in 2002, it is again very likely that the Libertarian running for Secretary of State will poll over 10%, giving the party its own primary in 2008.

After Debate, Georgia Libertarian for Governor at 9% in Polls

Georgia has 3 candidates for Governor on the ballot. All three debated on October 12. The first poll since then, by InsiderAdvantage, and released on October 17, shows these results: Republican 48%, Democratic 28%, Libertarian 9%, undecided 15%.

The Libertarian Party has been the only third party on the ballot in Georgia gubernatorial races since 1942. Its previous best showing for Georgia governor was in 1998, when it got 3.43%.

Georgia law requires that candidates receive a majority of the vote, so if these results hold up, the state will be required to hold a run-off in December between the top two finishers. Ironically, until 2005, the law only required the winner to get 45%. The 2005 session of the legislature, controlled by Republicans, boosted the 45% up to 50%.

Florida Democrats Win Lawsuit on Posting Notices in Polling Place about Foley Replacement

On October 18, the Florida Democratic Party won a court order, preventing Florida elections officials from posting notices in each polling place that a vote for former Republican nominee Mark Foley (in the 16th US House district) is really a vote for Joe Negron. The case is Thurman v Cobb, Leon Co. circuit court 2006-ca-2619. The Secretary of State will appeal. The judge said that if the legislature had intended for such notices to be posted, it would have said so in the law.