Third Party candidate struggles to gain ground


Now that Ron Paul is out of the presidential race, North Carolinians turn to a local libertarian.
Barbara Howe, chair of the North Carolina Libertarian party, is running for governor against Pat McCrory and Walter Dalton.

She has ran twice in the past, in 2000 and 2004, for the libertarians. Howe received 1.5 percent of the electorate vote in both races for governor.

Howe was born and raised in Wingate, went to a small college and currently lives in Oxford.  Given her humble roots, part of her motive for governorship is to put an end to neglect for the 85% percent of counties, primarily rural with “little” say to the outcome of this election.

Howe considers herself as fiscally responsible, socially tolerant Libertarian on her website.

The candidate also ensures she is a grassroots candidate and says this “Fifty percent of voters live in 15 of NC’s counties. Many of the other counties pretty much get ignored. I hope to get to chat with lots of folks around the state and share libertarian solutions. I’ll also be listening to what North Carolinians have to say.”

Howe, is currently running 5 kilometer races as part of her advertising campaign to ensure competition in NC gubernatorial [Governor] race. She has completed her run  in 94 counties, with six counties in reach as the election closes.

The athleticism Howe possesses, impressive for an individual approaching sixty, may potentially give her the hard-working image needed to sway some voters toward her from the older demographic.

Adding to her libertarian beliefs, she also has voted against the Racial Justice Act and NC Amendment One [Marriage Amendment Act], which bans gay marriage and civil unions.

She has consistently stood at around two to five percent in statewide polls, trailing far behind Walter Dalton and Pat McCrory, with a week left in this election.

In order for third party candidates like Howe to penetrate into the electorate, she will need more money from campaign contributions to run more advertisements. Fortunately, she has received an high profile endorsement from Gary Johnson, who is running for president on the libertarian ticket.

Judging from past elections and primaries, invading the waves with advertisements reaches out to a wider voter base, having profound impact to the outcome of those races.

Another solution to Howe’s poor performance is to reach out to younger voters. Barack Obama during the 2008 election and Ron Paul in the recent 2012 primary had successful runs due to the energy from their rallies held in college-towns. North Carolina is notorious for its universities; those including State, UNC system, Appalachian State, Duke and Wake Forest.

Barbara Howe has teamed up with youth organizations. Students for Liberty, a libertarian organization, has officially endorsed Howe. She has visited many colleges and universities around the state. She even has an event page “Meet and Greet at UNC” on Facebook.

With the strong libertarian base within the younger electorate in North Carolina, Howe has some room to gain ground in the days to come before the election.

Howe is likely to lose this election, however her energy and value of reaching out to all North Carolina citizens should give her a positive reputation going forward.


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