A Rasmussen Report claims that both Republican and Democratic party affiliation is losing ground as more voters abandon a two-party stronghold to sign-up as Libertarian.
The Republicans have continued to lose voter share (now only 30 percent) as the party re-brands itself into a Christian Right party, and Democratic Party voters (now only 36 percent) are leaving in record numbers due to the party's political in-activity since year 2000.
At the same time, Libertarian Party membership numbers have been on an upswing.
For the past five months of 2007, people willing to pay at least $25 per year for Libertarian Party affiliation have increased at a rate of approximately 3 percent per month, which is a 14 percent increase from December 2006.
Libertarian Party fundraising has increased as well.
"These are certainly encouraging data, but not at all surprising," said Libertarian National Committee chairman William Redpath. "Despite the electoral barriers thrown our way by the Democrats and Republicans, their numbers are decreasing while ours are simultaneously increasing. Americans desire fiscal responsibility, social tolerance and oppose the continued deaths of our soldiers in Iraq. Unfortunately, neither major party is willing to effectively address these important issues."
Current foreign policy from the Republican White House, as well as proposals from the new Democrat-controlled Congress, are significant reasons for the increase in Libertarian Party membership. So far this year, the party has attracted fourteen times the expected national average of active duty service members. The Libertarian's soldiers, sailors, and airmen range in rank from junior enlisted personnel to vice admiral (Ret.) Michael Colley, who now serves on the Libertarian National Committee.
Based upon required Federal Elections Commission reporting data, 7 percent of new Libertarian Party members have reported their employer as a branch of the Armed Forces.
"It is heartening for me to see that the men and women who serve our nation are finding a principled alternative to the Republicans and Democrats," said Libertarian Party executive director Shane Cory, who first noticed this trend. While noting that Libertarian members of our military have the discipline necessary to accomplish the mission they are handed, Cory noted "the men and women of our fighting forces are intelligent, informed, and, yes, opinionated."
Increased support for the Libertarian Party is beginning to translate into election results, too. While significant national media attention highlighted Republican losses in 2006, more than 13.4 million votes were cast for Libertarians in the same elections.
"Since the Democrats have taken control of Congress, our numbers continue to improve," said Libertarian Party political director Stephen Gordon. "In 2007, we've already won over a quarter of the races where we've fielded candidates. In April's Midwestern contests, we won seven out of eleven of the campaigns we ran. When third party candidates start showing these sorts of returns, it's obvious that the mood of the electorate is changing."
"Democrats didn't win the elections in 2006; Republicans lost them," said Redpath. "Since then, Democratic leaders have failed to show leadership on the Iraq War, are talking about tax increases and beginning to have ethical problems of their own. Americans continue to look for a viable alternative to the two-party system - one which better represents the values most Americans find important. To those who are becoming involved with the Libertarian Party, we'd like to say 'Welcome home.'"
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