The Libertarians have failed, absent some sort of real "October Surprise" that does severe damage to one of the other candidates.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows President Obama attracting support from 48% of voters nationwide, while Mitt Romney earns the vote from 47%. One percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.
This is what Rasmussen had said months ago was the pattern coming into the general election and it is true -- it has been born out time and time again. As the election approaches the people who would claim they will vote for a Libertarian (or someone else for that matter) will start to feel the pressure of "if I don't vote for my guy in the big two the other one will win", and thus the Libertarian loses his putative support.
This can only be countered by having issues and positions that huge swaths of the electorate care about, as Perot did during his first run.
And that means issues of the wallet, basically.
Running on gay marriage and pot smoking will not do it. It has never done it and it will never do it, for the simple reason that you have to get into the solid double digits of support (and that first digit cannot be a "1") by the late summer or you're doomed. The simple reality of the matter is that there are low single-digit percentages of voters who will identify gay marriage and pot as their most-important issue.
That's all it is when it gets down to Presidential politics. That's what I was preaching over a year ago. And it's what nobody wanted to hear then, nobody wanted to hear it this last spring and more-importantly nobody focused the Johnson campaign on it -- or rejected him and selected a nominee who would, if he would not.
Oh sure, Rasmussen will show 2% a few more times, and he might even print a 3. But the trend is clear; it's not 15, it's not 10, it's not 6.
It's 1, maybe 2 when the votes are counted.
Just like it was last time.
For the same reason it was last time.
And the time before that.
And every time before that.
At its core the problem is innumeracy, and not just in the general population. The Libertarian Party of Florida's Chair posted a picture with a caption this morning on Facebook showing an attempt to run his coffee maker off a computer UPS. The power was out, it seems, and coffee is important (and on that point I will agree!)
The attempt failed, and a quick glance at the picture he posted showed why.
First, the unit he tried to use was a 750VA UPS. But that's not 750 watts, it's more like 450 because the presumption is that the device(s) connected will be electronics with switching power supplies. A coffee maker is a resistive load (the heater for the water) and typically draws about 1200 watts. That's the first problem; connecting something that draws three times the actual output capacity of the power source won't work very well.
But the second problem is equally-serious, indeed, it may be more-serious, as the attempt to connect the coffee pot to the UPS demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the process by which energy is stored and used, along with the role that energy density and capacity play in our everyday life -- a critical item for persons advocating public policy to understand given the state of our nation and the outright stupid path we have taken over the last 30 years when it comes to energy.
The battery in the unit pictured only holds about 100 VAh of energy, and that's at 100% discharge and assumes a brand new battery -- you can only draw 100% out of a lead-acid battery once or twice without destroying it; as a consequence the UPS will prohibit that and shut down when you've drawn about 80% of the energy from it, and if the battery is less than brand new you didn't start with 100 VAh in there either as batteries degrade with age. Finally, that rating is at a reasonable discharge level (e.g. 10 hour rate); if you draw energy out of a battery really fast (like in 5 or 10 minutes) you get less in total for reasons that are too complex to explain in a sentence or two.
Most UPSs are about 80% efficient; none is 100% or better as that's impossible. Under rapid discharge and assuming the battery is not brand-spanking new it can be expected to contain about 80 volt-amp-hours of usable energy -- and that's being generous.
With me so far? Good.
The problem is that the coffee maker requires 20 volt-amp-hours per minute (1200 watts/60 minutes = 20 VAh per minute) from the wall to operate. Applying the 80% efficiency of conversion to this figure you need to supply 25VAh per minute from the UPS's battery to get 20VAh per minute out in 120V power (which, incidentally, is about 10 amps of 120V power.)
From this you can easily determine that you can only run the coffee maker, assuming the UPS will permit the overload, for 3 minutes before the battery in it is completely exhausted.
Betcha you can't brew a pot of coffee in 3 minutes from a cold start.
Was the person contemplating making coffee this morning numerate and reasonably knowledgeable about basic mathematical, physical, energy storage and electrical realities he wouldn't have tried this because it was guaranteed to fail for two separate reasons!
But he claims he did, and one has to assume the reason is that he didn't know any of these facts. Then he posted his fail in public where I could see it. Amusingly, of the comments this morning I was the only one to point out (when I looked early this AM) that what he was trying to do was stupid, could have never worked, and pointed distinctly to his lack of understanding of critical concepts for a self-styled political leader.
This is state party leadership folks.
These are the same folks who guide state party membership when it comes to endorsement of political candidates who if elected then set public policy on things like energy and finance and that, in turn, comes back and bites you in the ass when their innumeracy and lack of understanding of basic physical concepts winds up ensconced in that very same public policy!
Back before this race began I posted a Ticker on the minimum requirements for me to endorse a political candidate. They were pretty simple:
That was it.
Gary Johnson violated both #1 and #2 more than a year before he switched to the Libertarian Party where I could see it -- on my Blogtalk radio show. As such there was simply no way I could ever support him until he cut that crap out, and he has utterly refused to do so despite having these facts repeatedly explained to him.
He may be innumerate or simply doesn't give a damn about the truth, but I am neither and someone trying to sell me something that is mathematically or thermodynamically impossible is lying about the outcome he is claiming he can obtain, whether he knows it or not.
This same filter prevents me from endorsing or supporting either Obama or Romney.
Sorry folks, but as Adrian found out this morning, the laws of thermodynamics and mathematics are both laws -- not suggestions.
In short our nation is doomed until we manage to find better political leaders with the first-level filter being both numeracy and a basic grounding in physical laws such as the laws of physics and thermodynamics.
If you fail that filter you're neither qualified to lead a political party or run for public office.
So says Tickerguy.
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