Sean Haugh, the Libertarian candidate who wants to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, appears to be going after the beer drinkers’ vote.
His campaign videos on YouTube feature him perched at a counter cluttered with glasses of beer. But the chosen setting is as deliberate as it is unconventional.
Haugh, a pizza deliverer from Durham, said he shoots his videos this way because the manner in which politics is conducted is as important as the issues themselves. This way, he’s “just a guy at a bar,” discussing politics over a beer.
“Everybody involved is a real human being. They’re not just a label,” Haugh said. “A lot of the climate is very dehumanizing so I wanted to present myself as a real human.”
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Haugh ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 against then incumbent Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole and Democrat Erskine Bowles. He said he’s running again because he wants a Libertarian option on the ballot and a clean conscience.
“I can’t stand the idea of walking into the voting booth and just seeing the Democrat and the Republican on the ballot,” Haugh says in one of his videos. “I just wanted to vote for something other than more violence, more war, more debt. I just wanted to vote for peace.”
Haugh noted that a lot has changed since his last candidacy. The most important change, he said, are the platforms available for campaigning. In 2002, Haugh used a blog to do the majority of his campaigning. This time around, he’s taking advantage of multiple social media platforms, calling his YouTube videos “mainstream campaigning.”
Another major difference is where he stands in the polls. In 2002, Haugh won 1.45 percent of the vote. A Civitas Institute poll from May shows Haugh polling at 8 percent.
“I’m getting the best poll numbers I’ve ever gotten, and I think it’s because more and more people know what libertarianism is,” he said.
Haugh’s strong anti-war stance is one of his main talking points, along with public service. His YouTube followers can expect new videos throughout this week, tackling subjects like the death penalty and defining libertarianism.