Minnesota’s Libertarian Party strives for victory: 5% of the state’s votes

pioneer-press“For the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, election victory does not rest on their presidential candidate actually winning.

“If the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson receives 5 percent of the vote in Minnesota, his minor party would gain major party status in the state.”

“The party appears on the cusp: In both Minnesota and national polling, the Libertarian Party has pulled an average of at least 5 percent of those polled. While that might decline as Election Day draws closer, backers are hopeful.”

“Leaders believe the move up in the ranks would allow the group to expand the small-scale political framework it has laid throughout the state and could result in bigger gains in local elections.

“Since the group would no longer have to collect signatures to get onto ballots — which consumes volunteer hours — it would be able to focus most of its resources on campaigning and building its constituency, said Cara Schulz, state director of the Johnson/Weld 2016 campaign and candidate for Burnsville City Council. Minor parties in Minnesota need to submit signatures to win ballot access. Major parties do not.

“’It will level the playing field,’ Schulz said.

“With major party status, the group would seek to bolster some of its city- and county-level organizations, which have already grown during this election cycle, she said. Party leaders also believe that if it got the major-party boost, voters — and the media — would give the party more attention.

“Still, party members said the grassroots campaigning, which has long been a bedrock ideal of the party, would remain.

“’This is how we would prefer to see political messages spread,’ said Chris Dock, state chair of the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. ‘The organization has rallied against large amounts of money in politics, he said, and major party status wouldn’t change that.'”

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