As Virginia approaches its November 5th election, activists are pondering all sorts of questions. Will Ken Cuccinelli launch a surprise comeback to become the state’s next governor? Will the Democratic Party sweep the three statewide offices for the first time since 1989? Will Mark Obenshain win the attorney general’s race, proving to be the one bright spot for the Republican Party on Election Day? However, one question that will also have a lasting impact on Virginia politics is, will Robert Sarvis meet or exceed the 10% mark?
For some, this last question might sound a bit odd. Isn’t who wins or loses the election the only important factor? What difference does it make if Sarvis gets 1%, 5%, 10%, or even 15%? Well, if Robert Sarvis captures at least 10% of the vote, that means that Virginia would now have three major recognized political parties, the Democrats, Republicans, and the Libertarians. For the Libertarians, this switch would mean easier ballot access. For example, although the Libertarians nominated Sarvis by convention in April (similar to how the Republican nominated Cuccinelli in May), the Libertarians were under the additional burden of being required to collect at least 10,000 signatures from registered voters to actually get Sarvis on November’s ballot. For a smaller party, like the Libertarians, this effort meant considerable manpower and funding. If Sarvis gets 10% or more, should the Libertarians nominate a candidate via convention for the 2014 Senate race, they would be free from this task, at least for the next several years.
With these thoughts in mind, will Sarvis make 10%? Recent polls indicate that he could, but many activists are skeptical. That being said, fellow blogger Shaun Kenney of Bearing Drift stated today on Facebook that Sarvis will reach the 10% threshold. Anyone else care to offer their predictions?