Did Vermin Supreme really just win the New Hampshire Libertarian Party’s primary on Saturday, January 11? Yes, he won the state convention’s presidential preference poll, but who the New Hampshire delegates actually vote for in the national convention is still up for grabs. Here’s what happened.
Vermin Supreme Won a Non-Binding Presidential Preference Poll
The Libertarian Party hosts a series of primaries and caucuses where non-binding votes are cast, indicating a state party’s preference for its presidential candidate. These preferences are not binding and delegates who are sent to the national convention can vote for whichever candidate they prefer. New Hampshire had the first primary. This self-funded presidential preference primary was actually conducted by mail, with results announced on January 11.
According to the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire (LPNH), ballots were mailed to all members who were eligible to vote at the convention, and their votes had to be received by 5 p.m. on January 10 in order to be counted in the LPNH’s annual convention on January 11. Delegates chose their first and second choices and used “approval voting” for other candidates. The results were announced at the annual convention.
As the LPNH website states: “The results of this Presidential Preference Primary will not bind 2020 LP Convention delegate votes in any way, it will inform delegates of the body’s preferences. LP National Bylaws prohibit the binding of delegate votes to a choice.”
So the voting of Vermin Supreme was a statement of preference, but it does not bind the delegates when they vote at the national convention on May 21-25, 2020 in Austin, Texas.
The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire announced the results on January 11.
According to the party’s announcement, 44 votes were cast out of 110 eligible primary voters. Of those, 26 voted for Vermin Supreme. The next highest was 22 voting for Kim Ruff. Jo Jorgensen got 17 votes, Dan “Taxation is Theft” Behrman got 13. Jacob Hornberger got 9, NOTA got 13 (which stands for None of the Above), Sam Robb got 8 votes, Arvin Vohra got 6, Mark Whitney got 6, Lincoln Chafee got 4, and then 16 got under 10 percent of the votes and weren’t listed.
The national delegates who will ultimately decide who receives New Hampshire’s vote were also chosen.
One of the delegates, Caleb Dyer, emphasized on Facebook that the preference poll “has no bearing on how many of New Hampshire’s delegates will support any given candidate.”
Of course, news spread fast on social media about Vermin Supreme “winning” the nomination in New Hampshire. Here are some things that people have had to say about it.
You can even update your Facebook profile picture to show that you support Vermin for the Libertarian nomination.
Caleb Riker had a long comment about the win. He said, in part: “Oh no, Vermin Supreme is going to make the Libertarian Party a joke! We’ve been taken so seriously for so long, and we can’t throw it all away. For decades, democrats and republicans, on critical matters of policy have stopped to say, ‘Wait, let’s ask the libertarians.’ We’re so seriously considered that we’re constantly invited to presidential debates, and given hours of free airtime by the unbiased media giants. … I remember how they asked Gary Johnson, ‘How would you have reacted to the crisis in Aleppo, Syria?’ knowing that to phrase it otherwise would be tantamount to a hit, and respecting both his and Governor Bill Weld’s significantly greater executive experience than their competitors… We can’t tarnish the respectable politics with promises of ponies, satire that means nothing when our government doesn’t throw money away on meaningless endeavors meant to buy the votes of the masses. We can’t allow him to lampoon a government that doesn’t make empty promises to classes they’ve rendered dependent, or offer all the wars that you can eat…”
You can see his full comment below.
Meanwhile, Robert J. Bentley of The Liberty Herald had a different take. He wrote, in part: “This is exactly what is wrong with our party. The Libertarians in this country don’t take winning elections seriously and instead tout this nonsense that they are an inclusive party. Yes, they are inclusive and this is what we get. We get the ridiculousness that comes with Supreme and when the national cameras are pointed at us we become the laughing stock of national politics. Members of the Libertarian Party, particularly in New Hampshire, should be ashamed of themselves.”
Here are some more comments on social media about Vermin Supreme’s win.
The next primaries and caucuses for the Libertarian Party will be on the following dates:
- February 8 – Iowa
- February 25 – Minnesota
- March 3 – California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma
- March 10 – Missouri
- March 16-21 – Ohio (online)
- April 28 – New York
- May 12 – Nebraska and West Virginia
- May 22-25 – National Convention
- June 2 – Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota
- June 9 – North Dakota
- June 16 – D.C.