Virginia’s race for a new governor continues to heat up with more Virginians keeping an open mind and are giving serious consideration to Libertarian Party candidate, Robert Sarvis. Virginians have grown tired of the scandal-plagued Democratic and Republican candidates increasing Sarvis’ polling numbers each week. But will it be enough before the November 5, 2013 general election? The Office of Governor is currently held by Republican Bob McDonnell. Today, Sarvis is hosting a “Family Day” in Chesterfield while his two opponents raised the white flag, taking the day off. According to their websites, neither has any events today where they will be attending.
Sarvis is raising steadily in the polls, this week polling at 10%, which is the threshold for him to participate in the last debate scheduled for late October. Sarvis was excluded from a debate for the race earlier this week because prior polling showed him at 9%. Some in Virginia’s media have been openly calling for Sarvis’ inclusion to the debate. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times Dispatch called the current debate process “stacked”, suggesting that debate organizers are activists trying to influence the outcome of the election to the exclusion of Sarvis. Sarvis has said repeatedly he will “debate anybody anywhere under any conditions.” It shows what can happen when the general media begin to mention the Libertarian candidate in a political contest.
Often a lesser-of-two-evils campaign between a Democrat and a Republican, the Libertarian is looking better to Virginians as offering a choice other than evil. The Republican Party and the Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli has been portraying Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe as a less than truthful candidate with questionable political practices while using his heavy weight D.C. political connections to help keep his business afloat. The McAuliffe camp is working to paint Cuccinelli as a far right man interested in denying Virginians of basic contraception.
Sarvis said in a recent interview, “The system is rotten to the core from Republican and Democratic malfeasance. If I am the only one arguing for freedom and the rule of law, then those two are the spoilers as far as I’m concerned.” He added, “McAuliffe stands for an extreme version of crony capitalism.” Sarvis also describes Cuccinelli as “very regressive on social issues” and “unreliable” on economic matters.
The Cuccinelli campaign says that Sarvis is affecting the race and though there is no evidence of such, Cuccinelli’s communications director, Richard Cullen said, “There’s no question that a vote for Robert Sarvis is a vote for Terry McAuliffe.” Polling during the 2012 presidential race, showed Libertarian Party presidential nominee, Gary Johnson was pulling votes from both Republican candidate John McCain and Democratic candidate Barack Obama.