Barr Gets Libertarian Nod

In a move with unknown consequences for the presidential race, the Libertarian Party went ahead and selected former Georgia GOP Congressman Bob Barr as their nominee for president:

It took six ballots and nearly five hours of voting at the Libertarian National Convention before the former four-term congressman defeated Texas business consultant Mary Ruwart for the party's bid.

Barr, who until 2006 was a Republican, took 54 percent of the vote after Las Vegas odds-maker Wayne Allyn Root dropped out following the fifth ballot and endorsed Barr. Delegates subsequently selected Root to be Barr's running mate.

"Y'all party today," Barr told the more than 600 delegates at the Sheraton Hotel. "I hope we celebrate, because I'm sure we'll all leave here with the strongest ticket in the history of the Libertarian Party."

Barr emphasized that only 163 days remain until the Nov. 4 general election.

"Do not waste one single day," Barr said.

In a news conference following the nominating vote, Barr's campaign manager, Russell Verney, said the candidate's headquarters would be Atlanta and that the campaign hopes to raise $30 million to battle Republican nominee-in-waiting John McCain and whichever Democrat emerges with that party's nomination.

Barr, 59, said the Libertarian Party anticipates being on the ballot in at least 48 states, but work remains to be done in 20 of those to ensure access. Oklahoma and West Virginia remain obstacles, he said.

So who does Barr hurt more, the GOP nominee John McCain or whoever the Democratic nominee might be?

Some analysts point to the part of the country you are talking about. Barr may hurt McCain in some battleground states like Ohio and Pennsylvania where he is expected to siphon off from 3-5% of the Republican vote. In the Mountain west, he may actually help McCain because those voters tend to be anti-war Democrats.

Other analysts believe Barr will mostly hurt a candidate like Obama because he will attract more anti-war voters than disgruntled Republicans. Still others see it as a wash.

One thing is for sure, both parties are going to be watching his candidacy very closely. A swing of even 3% might mean a couple of states.