Splitting the Vote
I encountered a comment that "independent voters tend to split the conservative/liberal vote". As a statistician, I would normally agree that the idea is at least a little bit logical, but the idea itself is simply anecdotal at best, and horribly flawed at worst.
Independent voters cast their vote for any candidate who shares their views regardless of party politics; that's why they're labeled "independents". Statistically speaking, however, independent voters tend to NOT vote at all simply because none of the candidates appeal to them. It's only partisans who believe -- and continue to perpetuate the myth -- that independent voters "steal votes away" from partisan candidates. First, the "votes" are not 'theirs' to be stolen (talk about 'counting chickens'), and second, over the last few political cycles, the "lesser of two evils" argument has become less of a rallying cry and more of a desperation plea.
Those of us who represent political third parties tend to run afoul of Duverger's Law -- the idea that in any "first-past-the-post" contest, voters tend to favor a simplistic two-party system -- an "us versus them" mentality where sides can be easily chosen and defended. And because independent voters tend to follow the dictates of their own conscience, partisans declare them 'fringe'. "Conform, or be cast out." In 2015, a Gallup poll declared that 43% of the population were independent voters (not affiliated with either of the Old Parties). I can easily imagine that this number has increased in today's polarized political climate.
I'm only asking for one thing: cast your vote the way that you want it to be cast, not out of "fear of the other guy". The Libertarian Party is making sure that I will be on the ballot: you will have a choice. If you believe that I am the better candidate, that my views align with what matters to you individually, then vote for me.
They cannot control your vote unless you allow it.