Analysis: In close elections, two opponents can be better than one
The all-Republican court rejected a Republican effort to erase 44 Libertarian candidates from the ballot. The theory operating here is that Libertarian candidates siphon more votes from Republicans than from Democrats. A related bit of political folklore is that Green Party candidates take votes that would otherwise go to Democrats. State Rep. Gina Calanni, a Democrat, beat a Republican incumbent by 113 votes in a 2018 race in which a Libertarian got 1,106 votes. For instance, state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, won reelection by 1,428 votes; the Libertarian in his race got 1,644 votes.