Massachusetts is holding a special election tomorrow for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. The candidates are Martha Coakley, a Democrat and until recently the presumptive victor; Scott Brown, the Republican and until recently a little known state senator (mine in fact); and Joseph L. Kennedy, a Libertarian and no relation to Ted.
In most Massachusetts elections, I vote for the libertarian or write in my wife (also a libertarian). The Democrats always win, so I can vote my conscience without worrying how my vote might affect the outcome.
This election, however, is different. If the polls are to be believed, the race is close. And, having a 41st Republican in the Senate could defeat ObamaCare, which I view as evil. So, what's a libertarian to do?
I looked into Brown's and Kennedy's views on a range of issues. Kennedy is definitely libertarian, Brown more conservative. Thus, on economics they are similar and while on social issues they differ, with Kennedy's views closer to my own. Brown, however, is not ultra-conservative; he is personally opposed to abortion and gay marriage, but he believes abortion should remain legal while gay marriage should be left to each state.
The other factor to consider is that one-party rule is awful; gridlock is great.
So, which way will I vote?
PS: You might think Brown has a chance because of backlash over the economy and Obama excesses. That is part of the story, but in addition Coakly announced on a local radio show that Curt Schilling is a Yankees fan!
PPS: Brown might do better than the polls indicate because the Kennedy supporters will probably vote for Brown.
PPPS: My home phone rang about 5 times while I was writing this, all automated messages urging me to vote for Brown.