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  • Richard Winger

Libertarian Party Will Almost Certainly Have At Least One Candidate on Ballot in All 50 States

It is likely that the Libertarian Party will have at least one nominee for a federal or state office on the ballot in all fifty states in November 2018, for the first time in a midterm year.

In a few states, the party has no one on the ballot for statewide office. But in all those states, it will have at least one legislative or U.S. House candidate on the ballot. Those states are Alabama, where a Libertarian has qualified for a seat in the state house; California, where the party has a few candidates on the ballot for Assembly; Florida, where the party’s gubernatorial nominee withdrew for health reasons but where the party will have a few legislative candidates; Kentucky, where there are no statewide races up but where the party will have a few candidates for U.S. House; Maine, where the party has a state house candidate; Mississippi, where the only statewide race is U.S. Senate, and the party did not contest that, but it does have some candidates for U.S. House; and Washington, where the party has a few legislative candidates.

It is not yet determined whether the Louisiana, Rhode Island and Vermont Libertarian Parties will have any candidates for statewide office, but they will have some legislative candidates. The only statewide office up in Louisiana is a special election for Secretary of State.

In order for the prediction in this post to come true, it is necessary that the party’s statewide petitions succeed in Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Virginia. It is likely that each of these petitions will succeed.

The word “Libertarian” will be on the ballot for all the party’s candidates, except in Tennessee, where the Libertarians will have the label “independent.”

In 2014, there were no Libertarians on the ballot for any federal or state office in Alabama, Maine, or New Mexico. Ever since the U.S. has had 50 states, starting in 1959, there has never before been any third party that had a candidate for federal or state office in the ballot in all 50 states in a midterm year.


Richard Winger is the editor of Ballot Access News, a non-partisan newsletter that aims to increase awareness about the restrictive ballot access laws across the US and to report progress that is made.

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