The Moderate Libertarian http://moderatelibertarian.blogspot.com/2005/11/is-average-voter-libertarian.html asks whether the average American voter has libertarian leanings. He opines that the Libertarian Party has always assumed this and that this has led to obscurity for the LP.
No way is the average American voter (AAV) even close to libertarian, if voting patterns are any indication. The AAV likes his government big and intrusive. He thinks that his conspecifics are basically evil and/or stupid and that the only thing standing between him and a murderous mob is the government. In fact, the AAV seems to want the government to do more and more and other institutions to do less and less. Every problem cries out for legislation.
I know very few libertarians, and I generally find my libertarian ideas classified as crackpottery. It takes effort and persistence to get people even to consider libertarianism as a serious alternative. The concept of the state is not easily susceptible to problematization because it is so pervasive and tied up with so many other important memes, e.g. identity.
If the LP operates under the assumption that Americans are closet libertarians, it will never amount to diddlysquat. The LP needs to sell the basic concepts of libertarianism and to make converts if it can. It also needs to dispel disinformation about libertarians being self centered Republicans who want to smoke pot. Or that libertarianism is tantamount to libertinism.