The Libertarian Vote

Cato Institute Policy Analysis Series No. 580

28 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2007

See all articles by David Boaz

David Boaz

Cato Institute

David Kirby

America's Future Foundation

Date Written: October 18, 2006


Conventional wisdom holds that the United States is a country nearly evenly divided between two political ideologies: liberal vs. conservative, red state vs. blue state. Our study of voter and public polling data suggests this view is incorrect; a significant portion of voters can be classified as neither liberal nor conservative. In particular, we find that some 13 percent of voting-age Americans can be considered libertarian, tending to agree with conservatives on economic issues and with liberals on many social issues. What's more, these libertarian voters are increasingly in play for both parties, and they represent a bloc that is large enough to swing national elections.

Keywords: Cato, David Boaz, David Kirby, PA 580, political ideologies, swing voters, liberal, conservative, polling data, libertarian voting, libertarian interests, national elections

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Boaz, David and Kirby, David, The Libertarian Vote (October 18, 2006). Cato Institute Policy Analysis Series No. 580, Available at SSRN: or

David Boaz (Contact Author)

Cato Institute ( email )

1000 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States

David Kirby

America's Future Foundation ( email )

America's Future Foundation
1001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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