Libertarian Party could throw wrench into Florida governor's race

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- A new poll shows that Florida voters aren't pleased with either Republican Gov. Rick Scott or former Gov. Charlie Crist, and a Libertarian candidate may be benefiting from those concerns.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows that with Libertarian Adrian Wyllie in the mix, he received 9% support and drew more voters away from Crist than Scott, making the race a statistical tie.

Voters said they don't trust Scott or Crist.  Only 39% of those polled say they thought Crist is honest, and only 40% said Scott is.

It's just another sign that the Libertarian Party continues to gain popularity. In fact, supporters say it's not only the fastest growing third party in the country, but the third largest political party.


Bill Van Allen the former chairman of the Sarasota County Libertarian Party, likes people to know where he stands politically. “We like to think that most people are Libertarian in their heart of hearts. They just don't know it yet.”

But hundreds of thousands do.

Around the country, there are more than 330,000 Libertarians. In Florida, there are around 20,000, and the Suncoast is home to just over 900.

The growing popularity seems to be an indication that people are growing angry with the two main parties.

“The more dissatisfied people are with Republicans and Democrats, seeing both as an arm of larger government, the more they look to alternatives,” says New College political science professor Frank Alcock. “Libertarian values are an interesting fusion of very conservative Tea Party economics with some extreme liberal views.”

So what type of impact will Adrian Wyllie have on Florida's governor's race?

“In a tight election, a third party candidate that's getting above 5% of the vote, they could certainly turn the election from one candidate to the other.”

In November, we'll know for sure.