In IPR comments, Libertarian Party of Massachusetts Chair and 2008 presidential candidate George Phillies reports on the membership figures for the Libertarian Party, revealing a slow decline since the party’s peak in 1999.
I dug up the membership numbers going back into the past. The number is for the end of the indicated year, except 2015, where the indicated number is the end of June 2015.
You will see that 1992 brought in a lot of people, 1996 brought in a lot of people, 2000 lost ground, 2004 brought in 873 people, 2008 brought in 1177 people, and 2012 brought in 281 people.
Remember that the Presidential campaign is not everything in terms of member recruitment, but it can help. The the extent we credit the Presidential campaign: Note that Barr was more effective than Badnarik or Johnson at bringing in people, and Badnarik was more effective than Johnson, but all of them were more effective than the second Browne campaign.
For 2009 and after, there are three columns. The second column counts people who signed the oath and sent us some money during the year (or are life members), while the third column lists “sustaining members” as defined in the Bylaws. 2006 is an anomaly because dues changed several times in different directions.
And for those of you who want the month by month in an election year:
Here are the month by month numbers for 2004, 2008, and 2012
So look at the month-by-month.
Badnarik brought in under 500.
Barr brought in 1530.
Johnson brought in a bit over 800.
Readers may reasonably say that while Badnarik was a radical, he was a Constitutionalist radical, not a Libertarian radical, and his knowledge of the Constitution had some deficiencies. The guy who did best was clearly not a radical.