Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr is crowing after his showing in Tuesday's election, where he won enough votes -- not in his home state of Georgia, but in North Carolina -- to hold the balance of power.
In North Carolina, which remains too close to call, Democrat Barack Obama has a 12,000-vote lead over Republican John McCain, and Barr, a former Republican congressman from Georgia, has 25,181 votes, or 1 percent.
In Georgia, McCain won with 52 percent of the vote, while Barr won 28,622 votes, or about 1 percent.
And in Indiana, Barr prevented Obama from winning a clear majority. Obama had barely 50 percent, rounded up, while McCain had 49 percent, and Barr had 29,102 vote, or 1 percent.
UPDATE: Barr won about 489,000 votes nationally, compared to 657,000 for independent Ralph Nader, according to the latest tally by the Associated Press, counting 98 percent of precincts.
"This is just the beginning of the new Libertarian Party," Barr said in a statement issued this afternoon. "In these next four years, there will be an even greater need for a political party fully dedicated to lower taxes, smaller government and more individual freedom—a voice for liberty."
"This year, we set a solid foundation for freedom, on which we will build a strong and united political organization that advances freedom and liberty in the United States," Barr added. "I, and all Americans who support true liberty, owe a great debt of gratitude to our staff, donors, volunteers and voters who helped support this campaign."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.