Keep an eye on Sarvis

I’ve a little bit of a different take than Shaun on the relevance of Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis’ showing in the PPP poll.

It’s a bit refreshing to see a bona fide third-party candidate tossed into the polling mix. It forces folks to pay at least some attention to messages and candidates they would otherwise prefer to ignore (and let us never forget that Russ Potts was included in gubernatorial polls through most of the 2005 campaign even though he never rose above the margin of error).

That Sarvis is polling seven percent according to PPP is quite a surprise. Has the Libertarian moment we’ve been told, repeatedly and for many years, finally arrive? No.

The last Libertarian gubernatorial candidate to appear on the ballot, Bill Redpath, earned .77 percent of the vote. Granted, that was twelve years ago and Virginia has changed markedly since then. But it has not become more Libertarian. Quite the opposite.

Sarvis’ numbers, then, may be nothing more than a trick of the light. Even so, I’ll keep an eye on them. If future surveys, from other pollsters, show him polling over five percent, it gives Sarvis an excellent case to demand inclusion in future gubernatorial debates. Being on stage with Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe won’t make Sarvis governor. But it would shake things up. And Virginia’s political duopoly could use a good shake right about now…