Libertarian Sarvis Gaining Traction in Governor's Race

By: Val Thompson Email
By: Val Thompson Email

August 30, 2013

Libertarian candidate for governor Robert Sarvis is gaining some more traction among Virginia voters.

The latest poll from Emerson College Polling Society says 10 percent of voters favor Sarvis. That compares to 45 percent for Democrat Terry McAuliffe and 35 percent for Republican Ken Cuccinelli. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.

"I'm totally sick of the two-party system," said Sarvis supporter John Borgquist. John works as a photographer in Charlottesville.

"I'm very excited about his love of school choice," Borgquist said. "Such as charter schools, also vouchers."

He says he is frustrated that many of his friends only see politics as red vs. blue.

"They almost always agree with (Libertarian) issues," Borgquist said. "But then they're like, 'Oh, but I'm voting Republican or Democrat' because that's what they've always done."

"Younger voters are attracted to a candidate like Robert Sarvis, who is representing their views," said Rick Sincere, the chairman of Charlottesville's electoral board. Sincere is also a writer for Virginia Politics on Demand. He identifies himself as a Republican with libertarian leanings.

Sincere says Sarvis is gaining traction because people aren't happy with the other candidates.

"Both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli have very high negative ratings, very unfavorable among voters," Sincere said.

Negative or not, those two are getting a lot more attention than Sarvis.

"(Sarvis) is very soft spoken," Sincere said. "And he's running against two candidates who are larger than life."

So far, Sarvis has been shut out of the debates, which disappoints Borgquist.

"How could you call it a democracy if you haven't heard from the people who are going to be on the ballot?" he said.

But Sincere says Sarvis may be on the stage with Cuccinelli and McAuliffe in the future, if he continues his current trajectory.

"If another poll comes out next week that shows him at 10 or 11 percent, he'll probably get an invitation," Sincere said.

Borgquist has an invitation to Virginia voters:

"Don't be the voter that steps into the poll and who's like, 'Who's this third guy on the ballot?'"

Sarvis is still a very long shot to win the race, however.

In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, about 75 percent of Virginia voters say they are firmly set on who they will vote for, with the vast majority of those siding with McAuliffe or Cuccinelli.

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