Despite 11% of Americans self-identifying as “libertarian” the Libertarian Party – up from 7% two years ago – the Libertarian Party is reaching historic lows in party membership.
Libertarian Party (LP) active members and donors fell by 7% in 2015 according to the party’s latest membership report.
The party claims a paltry 11,693 active members . . . including 2,458 “lifetime” members who may or may not be active with the party.
The latest numbers put the party at their lowest levels of support in nearly a decade.
The party, which has suffered from a lack of leadership and quality candidates for years, is irrelevant by national standards despite the surge in understanding of libertarian principles.
The hope for party gains in 2016 does not look optimistic for the LP that lacks presidential candidates with name recognition or the funding to spark anything more than their standard showing in presidential elections.
The leading candidate for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016 is Austin Petersen, a 34 year-old podcaster and activist.
The LP was founded on December 11, 1971 by a group of activists who opposed Nixon’s policies and the principles of the two major parties.
The founding members of the party predicted they would have 60,000 donors by 2001.
The closest the party has come to that prediction was their high-water mark of 20,000 donors in 1999.
The party’s growth in the late 1990’s was due to their focus on acquiring new donors and the party’s willingness to spend money on advertising and marketing during that time.
That growth came to a halt when inexperienced party board members halted the membership program and the Libertarian Party has not recovered since that time.