Balloons, plastic porkpie hats and American flags give Oddfellows the feel of a classic whistle-stop campaign headquarters. By 8 p.m. on Election Day, statewide Libertarian candidates have appeared at the Short North event space to watch the returns with families, friends and coolers of beer in tow.

Balloons, plastic porkpie hats and American flags give Oddfellows the feel of a classic whistle-stop campaign headquarters. By 8 p.m. on Election Day, statewide Libertarian candidates have appeared at the Short North event space to watch the returns with families, friends and coolers of beer in tow.

Irvine appears fashionably late, dressed in the rare suit and tie, and energizes the room without trying. He's characteristically staid but never sad, and his lapel bears a large American flag pendant knitted by his grandmother.

Poll results, projected onto a bare wall of the venue's small back room, are mixed at best.

Six weeks prior, about 58 percent of voters said things had gotten so bad in Washington that a third party was needed, according to a poll published by USA Today and Gallup. For a variety of reasons, that doesn't translate to big gains for Ohio Libertarians, who struggle in most races to scratch out five percent.

Irvine greets friends, poses for photos and congratulates other candidates. In about 12 hours, he will learn that he carried about three percent of the vote, 8,373 ballots total.

He's unsure if he'd run again.

"I want to take a nap for a couple weeks," he says before taking a makeshift podium for his concession speech. "I'm going to be broke, so I need a job. And I don't like winter, so I want to go to warmer places with the birds."

Still, party officials say, his campaign wasn't a loss.

Irvine is a young, straightforward face of a party in flux - one that for a large part of its history was a fringe group known for championing minor issues and alienating voters. He forced his opponents to take notice, like when Tiberi knew enough to insult him at an October debate.

His experience writing press releases and filming videos resulted in a savvy media campaign, a skill set that party leaders hope he'll share with other candidates. He was able to talk about what mattered to the party in a way that made sense.

And, he says, he remained true to Libertarian ideals by doing a lot on a very limited budget.

"He used social media as well as any Libertarian candidate in the country," said Kevin Knedler, executive committee chair of the Libertarian Party of Ohio. "I heard it loud and clear: Who is this guy? He represents our future. This is not your father's Libertarian Party."