Early Green Party Primary returns - Nader wins California

Early unofficial Green Party Primary returns:

California (96% reporting)

  • Ralph Nader - 16,872 - 61.1%

  • Cynthia McKinney - 7,138 - 25.9%

  • Elaine Brown - 1,259 - 4.6%

  • Kat Swift - 846 - 3.0%

  • Kent Mesplay - 564 - 2.0%

  • Jesse Johnson - 509 - 1.8%

  • Jared Ball - 446 - 1.6%

Arkansas (37% reporting)

  • Uncommitted - 1,719 - 87.57%

  • Cynthia McKinney - 116 - 5.91%

  • Jared Ball - 54 - 2.75%

  • Kent Mesplay - 48 - 2.45%

  • Kat Swift - 26 - 1.32%

Note that there has been a substantial increase in the reported “Uncommitted” category in just the last several hours by over 1,000 votes.

Massachusetts and Illinois returns are as yet unknown.

An additional note: in terms of delegates for the Green Party Nominating Convention, of the 836 delegates available, California determines 168 (20%), Arkansas determines 8 (1%), Illinois determines 44 (5%) and Massachusetts determines 32 (4%).

The Green Party will be participating in the Washington DC primary next Tuesday Feb. 12.

32 Responses to “Early Green Party Primary returns - Nader wins California”

  1. BillTX Says:

    Almost 88% uncommitted in AR? Yikes!

  2. will Says:

    yeah this all looks really bad for cynthia, but i know here in ohio, theyre not going to nominate nader, i think the best electoral success would come from a cynthia and nader as vp. they need a fresh face to make the argument for real democracy.

  3. Eric Prindle Says:

    The Arkansas results have been fluctuating all over the place. I’m guessing there have been some typos.

  4. BillTX Says:

    will: Thanks!! Same thing I’ve been saying.

  5. Robert Milnes Says:

    The uncommitted delegates is a good idea. This would allow more flexibility for delegates to choose to endorse the LP ticket & try to consolidate instead of split the progressive vote & actually WIN.

  6. Eric Prindle Says:

    St. Francis County, Arkansas appears to be the culprit. They show 1,446 people voting in the Green primary—more than voted Republican—with every single one voting for “Uncommitted.” Unlikely. With those results taken out, it’s still about what it was last night: 53 percent uncommitted, 22 percent McKinney, 10 percent Ball, 9 percent Mesplay, 5 percent Swift.

    IMHO, uncommitted delegates is a bad idea, at least as far as the Green Party is concerned, as it facilitates internal squabbling among people claiming to be able to divine the true will of the voters.

  7. David Gaines Says:

    Eric: Agreed. The last thing the GP needs right now is more internal squabbling. I suspect most uncommitted delegates will vote for Nader after he declares his candidacy, but who knows?. Also, it looks like Nader’s name recognition was far more effective than having Howie Hawkins—a name known only to Green Party insiders—use his name as a stand-in in these primaries. I bet the word never really got out and most primary voters thought he was just another obscure candidate.

    It looks like Ralph won both the PFP and Green primaries in California. What happens with that? They don’t have fusion in California - what if he ends up being the nominee of both parties?

  8. Obama Chris Says:

    I think the Greens just shot themselves in the foot. Ralph Nader is incredibly unpopular amongst liberals in America. They would have done much better with Cynthia McKinney or my personal favorite, Kat Swift.

  9. Laine Says:

    Cynthia Mckinney and Ralph Nader must at this point come to some sort of agreement and run together. They are both drawing the same votes amongs the very liberal pockets of our country and they need eachother for the broader votes. Ralph Nader needs someone with southern roots in order for the Green Party or his own campaign to be able to have an impact in the Southern States.

  10. Ronald Kane Hardy Says:

    I would very much like to see a Cynthia McKinney - Ralph Nader ticket. But this is not to say that the other candidates (Kat Swift and Kent Mesplay) are not good, I like them both as well. McKinney and Nader combined have an overwhelming amount of name recognition.

  11. Laine Says:

    Any clue about how much influence Nader has in the Washington D.C Primary? I would imagine a lot since it has been his base for activism for a number of years. Also, when it comes down to it are delegates bound to the votes in the Primary? Also does winner take all county by county and because of SF with McKinney edging out Nader will she take all of San Fransisco’s delegates to the convention?

  12. Mike Gillis Says:

    The Green would “shoot themselves in the foot” by backing someone whose campaign is entirely under the radar.

    Even in open primaries like AK, a vast majority of voters were saying “Not McKinney”.

    Whatever Nader’s faults, he will run a real campaign that will get real press coverage, real attention and get far more votes and expose far more voters to the progressive Green message than Cynthia’s would.

    And it’s sad that people are counting on the much smaller Green caucuses, whose participation rarely tops 100 voters a piece to swing the nomination to McKinney.

  13. Eric Prindle Says:

    I don’t think Nader and McKinney need to come to any sort of agreement at this point. There’s nothing wrong with a contested nomination. I only hope that Nader announces his intentions soon (and doesn’t run as an independent) and that both candidates encourage their supporters to treat each other respectfully and accept the outcome.

    The race is far from over despite Nader’s win in California. Assuming the states allocate their delegates roughly proportionally, I would estimate that Nader and Hawkins have about half the delegates, with about a third pledged to McKinney.

    In D.C., Hawkins in standing in for Nader, which probably means the smart money is on McKinney.

    As far as the PFP nomination goes, my understanding is that California law does not prohibit fusion for presidential tickets (though maybe they need to run different elector slates?), but in any case, the PFP primary was nonbinding.

  14. Laine Says:

    Thanks for the input Mike and Eric. I agree that in order to secure the Green nomination that Nader must make it official and seek the nomination rather than the endorsement of the Green Party.

    I will be speaking in support of Ralph Nader in Alaska’s Green Party meeting in April though I am sure that will have little effect on the nation wide Green Party. We are still in the process of even forming a viable party as we recentley lost ballot access. We will be deciding if we can send delegates to the Green Convention in Chicago.

  15. Preston Says:

    Hey—I am a GP member in Ohio. Is there any way for me to vote in the GP primaries?

  16. Laine Says:

    Accoding to this website in the past Ohio has decided on Green delegates via State Convention. I have not read about anything being planned so far but your best bet would be calling the Green Party in Ohio and asking if they have anything planned.

  17. Walt Says:

    The Chicago Tribune and other Illinois media outlets are reporting the results for the GP primary:

    Cynthia McKinney, 1,446 votes, 57%
    Howie Hawkins (placeholder for Nader), 438 votes, 17%
    Kent Mesplay, 369 votes, 14%
    Jared Ball (withdrew, endorsed McKinney), 302 votes, 12%

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2008/by_state/IL_President_0205.html?SITE=ILCHTELN&SECTION=POLITICS

  18. Laine Says:

    Preston, Seems like Will is involved in Ohio try to contact him through this forum.

  19. will Says:

    hey yeah the Ohio GP will hold its convention in athens ohio, in april i think. i live in athens so im pretty excited about it.

  20. dinnerbellbishop Says:

    Robert Milnes Says:

    February 6th, 2008 at 2:06 pm
    The uncommitted delegates is a good idea. This would allow more flexibility for delegates to choose to endorse the LP ticket & try to consolidate instead of split the progressive vote & actually WIN.

    I’m not so keen on this idea. The LP and GP are to dissimilar. Unaffiliated voters will not embrace this because they won’t be able to tell what the LP and GP are trying to accomplish. The LP and GP should agree to respectfully disagree when nominating candidates for Feferal elections.

    If the Green Party dissolved I don’t think I’d hop on the Libertarian band wagon right away. I’d vote for a SPUSA candidate or some other Socialist third party candidate. As a Green I think the Libertarian Party is cool and I’d be willing to vote for thier candidates in certain local elections, if there was no Green candidate. But Libertarians and Greens disagree on too much for it to make sense for either party to endorse the other’s Presidential candidate. Global Warming, Capitol Punishment, Abortion, etc… For the Green and Libertarian Parties to come to a concensus on these and many other issues would necessitate the wholesale selling out of both parties platforms. They’d be ideologically bankrupt. I’m a Green. I agree with and respect the Libertarian position on certain issues. But it’s a long way across the room between the two parties. Odds are I’ll find someone who better represents my views with another party.

    I vote based on my beliefs, not based on poll numbers.

  21. Robert Milnes Says:

    dinnerbellbishop, “I vote based on my beliefs…”. If you are interested in winning, we all need to vote practically.

  22. Laine Says:

    If you are so interested in a unified G/L ticket then why doesn’t the Libetarian Party cross over on social issues and environment issues that Green Party member are not satisfied with?

  23. Robert Milnes Says:

    There is a lot of agreement between greens & libs. There is already MANY instances of NO green or lib on the ballot. & many of BOTH thereby splitting the vote. Why not coordinate this?

  24. Mike Gillis Says:

    Probably because there are too many issue, Robert, upon which the Greens and Libertarians not only disagree, but are complete polar opposites.

    Issues like:

    healthcare
    minimum wage laws
    corporate regulation
    taxes
    education
    trade policy
    consumer protection laws
    campaign finance

    Do I really need to go on?

  25. Mike Gillis Says:

    “If you are interested in winning, we all need to vote practically.”

    If you win by selling out your principles, you haven’t really won anything.

  26. Robert Milnes Says:

    A practical alliance would not involve selling out one’s principles. Both parties would remain intact. It is a matter of doing what could be done in order to coordinate the available vote. So instead of falling into the pattern of winding up voting dem or rep, all the available vote goes to the one green OR lib whichever is on the ballot. That is why I advised candidates to get on the ballot ASAP. With the honor system, all candidates would defer to the first on the ballot.

  27. dinnerbellbishop Says:

    In 2004 David Cobb and Michael Badnarik agreed that they had similar goals, but that they had drastically different views regarding how those goals were best achieved. They agreed that a forum should exist in which they could debate issues in front of an audience, so they toured around the country debating. This was a great idea. But the debate series eventually dissolved because nobody was paying attention. The media rejected them. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Green and Libertarian Parties had another series of debates in 2008, but maybe Nader v. Paul? The GP and LP will both get nowhere by trading ballot spots. They can, however, both get somewhere by starting an argument that makes it on TV.

  28. Thomas M. Sipos Says:

    I think the LP is about as close to (and far from) the Greens as the LP to the Constitution Party.

    I’d rather the LP balance any alliance with the GP with an alliance with the CP. No reason for the LP to pick one over the other.

    Both the GP and CP are statist in their own way; both have some good points (both are antiwar).

    A LP/GP/CP alliance would be a more effective Left-Right anti-establishment force.

  29. Sean Scallon Says:

    Cynthia McKinney had a bad, bad night Tuesday. It looks like the Green Party convention could be pretty contentious.

  30. dinnerbellbishop Says:

    The LP, GP and CP should never work together. This would be insanity. This would be too hypocritical. They don’t share the same ideals! If you’re gonna vote for a LP/GP/CP tripple bill you might as well vote Republicrat. A party exists to champion ideas, not simply to win. You lose if you through out everything you stand for for the victory. The LP/GP/CP hybrid idea makes no sense at all.

  31. Marie Says:

    I was involved with the Socialist Party U.S.A. in Florida and am in the Illinois Green Party now. I also supported Dennis Kucinich as a progressive Democrat. If the Progressive Dems, the Greens, and the Socialists united, it would make for a larger force. Socialist and Green Party ideals are very similar in nature. Libertarians are similar on some social issues, but have strong Republican beliefs mixed in. Take for example, Ron Paul, who is fabulous on civil liberty issues, really progressive, but a stinker on financial matters. He would do away with many social programs, health coverage, and hurt immigrants. Libertarians are are not compatible with Greens, Socialists, or Progressive Dems for those reasons.

    Why not come up with the Socialist Green Party? :)

  32. Robert Milnes Says:

    Marie, the Progressive Party pretty much started with Teddy Roosevelt, a republican.

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