The following Editorial was written by my friend Pete Parisi. Pete is an editorial writer at the Washington Times firstname.lastname@example.org:
“Let's be blunt: Libertarian Robert Sarvis isn’t going to be elected governor of Virginia on Nov. 5. If he stubbornly remains in the race, the only thing his candidacy is going to accomplish is to throw the election to the liberal Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe. Virginia can't afford that, financially or otherwise.
For the good of the Old Dominion, Mr. Sarvis should drop out of the race and throw his support to the Republican nominee, conservative state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Mr. Sarvis is currently polling at 10 percent in a race where Mr. McAuliffe led Mr. Cuccinelli by 9.6 percent (46.4 percent to 36.8 percent) as of Monday in the Real Clear Politics rolling average of all polls in the three-way race. Nowhere in Virginia is Mr. Sarvis' candidacy hurting Mr. Cuccinelli more than in Southwest Virginia. In a front-page story Wednesday on how the race is playing out in Virginia’s coal country, The Washington Post cited a September poll that found Mr. Sarvis drawing a stunning 21 percent of registered voters there. That has all but eliminated what should be Mr. Cuccinelli's big advantage over Mr. McAuliffe in that strongly Republican region of the state, won by Republican Bob McDonnell in 2009 with a whopping 65 percent of the vote.
Mr. Sarvis’ support comes primarily from votes that would otherwise go to Mr. Cuccinelli, who shares Mr. Sarvis' free-market-economics philosophy and has a streak of libertarianism to boot. That's a lot more than Mr. Sarvis has in common with Mr. McAuliffe, a proud tax-spend-and-regulate liberal who, so far as we can discern, has not distanced himself from any of President Obama's ruinous big-government policies, including Mr. Obama's war on coal. Mr. Sarvis should recall Ronald Reagan's maxim: “My 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy.”
It's worth noting, too, that the two foremost icons of libertarianism on the political scene today, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and his son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, have both endorsed Mr. Cuccinelli — not Mr. Sarvis. If the Pauls find Mr. Cuccinelli acceptable from a libertarian perspective, what reason does Mr. Sarvis have for remaining in the race? That’s a point Mr. Cuccinelli must make emphatically when he’s joined by Rand Paul at rallies in Virginia Beach and Fairfax City on Monday afternoon. Mr. Paul should explicitly call for Mr. Sarvis to bow out of the race for the good of the Virginia, lest it become just a mirror image of Maryland. Mr. McAuliffe philosophically is indistinguishable from liberal Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.
The last time there was a semi-serious third-party candidacy for Virginia governor was in 2005. The presence on the ballot of a disgruntled liberal Republican, then-state Sen. Russ Potts, ultimately had no effect on the election's outcome. The better analogy in this case, however, would be to Ross Perot, who did little more than throw the 1992 presidential election to Bill Clinton, and to Ralph Nader's presence in the 2000 race, which kept Al Gore out of the White House.
Mr. Sarvis should ask himself: Does he really want to become an asterisk in Virginia political history and to add “spoiler” to his resume? He's a lawyer and businessman, but as with Mr. McAuliffe, the Virginia governorship isn't — or at least until now hasn't been — an entry-level political job or one that requires on-the-job training. A Cuccinelli administration could find a place for Mr. Sarvis in Richmond, just not the top job.”