The Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia is by no means a staple of power and influence in Virginia politics. Every member of the organization’s leadership conceded after the 2008 election that their greatest weakness stems from a lack of membership and funding. However, a new strategy coupled with the effective allocation of the party’s scarce resources resulted in real gains and noticeable progress in the Bill Redpath for U.S. Senate and Bob Barr Presidential campaigns.
While overall statewide numbers were lower for Libertarian candidates in 2008 than 2004, districts specifically targeted by the party showed huge increases in Libertarian votes cumulating in a 113% increase in the Lake Braddock precinct.
This is good news for the small party. In an election year when candidates on both the major party tickets were stirring huge excitement, and Virginia Democrats ran perhaps the most popular Senate candidate they have had in over a decade, strong showings for Redpath and Barr in targeted districts show that with adequate funding, manpower, and effective strategy, Northern Virginia’s Libertarians can be a force to be reckoned with in local and state politics.
Targeting specific demographics and focusing on key swing precincts has been the standard of campaigning of the two major parties for years. Now that the Libertarian Party of Northern Virginia has demonstrated the effectiveness of this strategy within their own party, a concentrated effort at recruiting members and gathering donations can give the party a real shot at taking seats in 2010 and beyond.