Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ralphing
Think Nader has faded away as a factor in presidential elections? We certainly haven't been hearing as much about him. And it doesn't appear as though he'll pull the 4 percent or so of the vote he did in 2000. But a recent New Republic piece by Ryan Lizza suggests Ralph could still do in the Dems (and give us four more years of Bush). Here's the key excerpt:

Despite the fact that he is registering barely 1 percent in national polls, Nader is indeed perfectly positioned to cost Kerry the election. Consider Kerry's current road to 270 electoral votes. The number of true toss-up states has dwindled to eleven: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico. Nader is on the ballot in all of these states but Pennsylvania and Ohio, where his access is still the subject of litigation. Each of these states is close enough that Nader could make the difference, and the damage he could do to Kerry becomes more obvious when one looks at the combination of states Kerry is likely to need for victory. Assuming Bush wins Florida and Kerry wins Pennsylvania, Kerry must then win Ohio and some combination of three to five of the remaining eight small toss-up states. These eight states have two things in common: in each, the race is almost a dead heat, and, in each, Nader is polling between one and four points. In other words, Nader is doing best in the most closely contested states. For instance, an early October Gallup poll of registered voters in New Mexico showed Bush beating Kerry 47 to 46 percent, with Nader at 3 percent. An American Research Group poll in New Hampshire showed Bush and Kerry tied at 47 percent, with Nader at 1 percent. In Colorado, Gallup shows Bush and Kerry tied at 48 percent, with Nader at 2 percent. As pollster John Zogby noted in a recent analysis of his own numbers, "There is ... no doubt that Ralph Nader is hurting Kerry." 

1 comment:

dan said...

Interesting. The New York Times ran a similar piece the other day. And when you look at the electoral vote map -- like this one: http://www.electoral-vote.com/ -- it's readily apparent how Nader could affect the election. Of course, this assumes the Nader voters would be motivated to vote for Kerry instead of their personal hero, the humorless version of Don Quixote. I'm actually not convinced that's true; unlike 2000, we have plenty of evidence why we should be horrified by the prospect of Bush in the White House. If the last few years haven't been enough to sway the Nader faithful, nothing will.