Mar 20 2012

Libertarians, Greens Likely to Poll Enough Votes in Texas in 2012 to Remain Ballot-Qualified

Source: Ballot Access News

Texas parties remain ballot-qualified in presidential election years if they poll at least 5% for any partisan statewide race. This year in Texas, the following statewide offices are up: President, U.S. Senate, Railroad Commission full term, Railroad Commission short term, Justice of the Supreme Court seat 2, Justice of the Supreme Court seat 4, Justice of the Supreme Court seat 6, Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals seat 7, Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals seat 8. That is ten offices.

No Democrat filed to run for five of those offices. Whenever there is a partisan election in which only one of the two major parties runs anyone, any minor party nominee on the ballot in that election typically polls at least 5%. Because the Libertarians and Greens do have candidates in some of the statewide offices with no Democrat running, it is quite likely that each of those parties will meet the vote test in 2012.

The Libertarians polled over 2% for Governor in 2010, and under Texas precedent, that guarantees the Libertarian Party a spot on the 2012 and 2014 ballots in any event, so technically Libertarians don’t need to meet the 5% vote test in 2012. But, the law is worded ambiguously, so Libertarians will be more secure if they do get 5% for a statewide race in 2012.

Posts for which the Green Party has a candidate, but the Democratic Party does not, are Railroad Commission short term, and Justice of the Supreme Court seat 4. Libertarians have a candidate in all the statewide races.

In U.S. House races, Libertarians have a candidate in all 36 districts, and Greens have candidates in 16 districts. No party has actually nominated for any offices in Texas yet, and just because someone has declared for a party nomination does not guarantee that the party will nominate anyone. But, of course, it is extremely likely that the vast majority of candidates who filed for a minor party nomination will receive the nomination. The Libertarian and Green Parties nominate by convention.

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