Reuters/Zogby: Nader at three percent, Barr at two percent

Here’s the article:

The poll also gauged potential head-to-head match-ups if independent Ralph Nader or possible Libertarian candidate Bob Barr, a former congressman, get on the ballot. Nader drew 3 percent and Barr 2 percent in both national match-ups.

McCain fared slightly worse against Obama with Barr and Nader in the race, but their presence did not change his margin over Clinton.

The national survey of 532 likely Democratic primary voters had a margin of error of 4.3 percentage points. The poll of the race between McCain and the two Democratic contenders surveyed 1,049 likely voters with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Here’s a question I’ve often pondered when dealing with polling data for third party and independent candidates: How does one deal with the fact that (most of the time) the candidates won’t appear on 50+ state ballots?

It’s quite possible that they had state data in their cross-tabs in this survey, but it doesn’t appear that they adjusted their data to indicate in which states Nader and Barr (if he jumps in and then wins the LP nomination) will be ballot qualified. With Barr, it would be a simpler task, as it appears likely that the LP candidate will be on 48 state ballots. With Nader, it’s a much tougher call at this moment.

45 Responses to “Reuters/Zogby: Nader at three percent, Barr at two percent”

  1. Robert Milnes Says:

    & here again is a good reason for Green endorsement of LP ticket. That would raise ballot access to 49. Washington, D.C. & Maybe 1 more.

  2. Tom Says:

    This coverage is just what we need. Not perfect from NPR’s slant but very acceptable. The Lib’s interviewed did a great job! Well done! You made all of us (well at least me :) ) proud.

  3. NewFederalist Says:

    National polls are really quite meaningless since the Electoral College elects the president and vice president. Only the battle ground states really matter and Nader may be excluded from some of those. The states on which the LP may not appear are not in play anyway.

  4. paulie Says:

    2% at this point is not good. That translates into typical LP performance in November, not a major breakout (the numbers tend to drop a lot closer to election time due to “wasted vote” miscalculation).

  5. Lex Says:

    Here’s how national polling companies adjust polling data for ballot access status: they don’t. Since they’re only polling 500 people, their accuracy on a per-state level isn’t fine enough to make those distinctions anyway. And if a candidate is at 3% in 45 states and 0% in the other five (not on the ballot), his average would be 2.7%, well within the overall margin of error.

    If Barr is only at 2% now (though I’ve seen up to 6 or 8 percent in other polls), that’s not a good sign. It is a good argument for running a more ideologically pure and less well known candidate, though. Nominating Bob Barr wouldn’t be that big of a sellout for Libertarians, but we would at least want to gain a lot more publicity and votes out of it.

  6. Green in Brooklyn Says:

    Polls like this are pretty meaningless at this point, both are within the margin of error of zero support, and Cynthia McKinney was apparently not among the options.

    Milnes - it’s a little late in the game for Bob Barr to try to run as a Green as well. Greens will certainly not nominate Barr, and in the unlikely event that Greens decide to nominate ‘none of the above’ and instead endorse, it would be Nader, but the likelihood of that is much smaller than in 2004. And if they did endorse, it wouldn’t give the LP any additional ballot lines.

    On the plus side - I do think that Nader and McKinney’s numbers will take a nice jump when the Democratic race is finally decided - especially if it comes down to a nasty back room convention fight. There will be alot of unhappy dems after the convention, and not all of them will go for McCain.

  7. Robert Milnes Says:

    Green in Brooklyn, I don’t think Bob Barr is thinking fusion with greens. If anything quite the contrary. Maybe fusion with CP. But yes, green endorsement of LP ticket gets LP ticket on Washington, DC ballot. & maybe one other. West Virginia? I’m not sure. Richard Winger would know. But my point is it is not too late to try this instead of politics as usual= LP right libertarian like Barr or Ruwart. Green McKinney? & Nader splits the progressive vote 3 ways. green/LP fusion leaves Nader with his face hanging out as NOT a viable vote when the progressive green/LP fusion becomes a possible competitor.

  8. Stefan Says:

    The poll does not include neither the Greens nor the CP and it should be taken into account that Barr has not announced any formal entry yet, and we are still several weeks away from an official LP nominee. Should Barr enter formally, it polling number may raise. I suppose he is busy drumming up potential support and get a feeling on which people would support him. Probably a lot also depends on whom the nominees of the two major parties will be, who their VP nominees will be and how they can mange to really integrate all factions. If they are unable to really integrate all - which is in this year more possible than ever before - third party candidates will have a greater chance at a good performance.

  9. Stefan Says:

    Robert, the ideal would be to nominate a LP pair team that can “integrate”, “unite” all three major third parties: CP, GP and LP under the LP banner? As an example,
    a Barr-Ruwart for instance ticket would be able to attract from all three, although Nader will still get a fair share (2%, he was polling at 5,6% but will probably lower once the LP candidate is nominated. One wonders whether the LP would profit from it if most of the delegates already indicate before which candidate, so that the party can unify and prepare. On the other hand, healthy discussion is also important and takes time.

  10. Roscoe Says:

    How is Barr at 2% bad? He has next to no name recognition - I’ll bet the 2% he got was related to the “Libertarian” designation, not him. There has been no LP campaign yet, either. Frankly, if he gets only 2% on Election Day, it would be the most successful presidential campaign in the party’s
    35 year history!

  11. Joseph Marzullo Says:

    Why not Root-Ruwart?

  12. Tom Says:

    Don’t know how my post to the NPR story got on this thread.

    As for the polling data this is pretty meaningless. Any time the margin of error is equal to or greater than a candidates number it really means he or she doesn’t have any pull.
    I would suspect Roscoe is correct that the 2% is the alternative vote kicking in because of the LP designation. Sadly its not higher than 2%.

  13. Stephen Gordon Says:

    Here’s how national polling companies adjust polling data for ballot access status: they don’t. Since they’re only polling 500 people, their accuracy on a per-state level isn’t fine enough to make those distinctions anyway. And if a candidate is at 3% in 45 states and 0% in the other five (not on the ballot), his average would be 2.7%, well within the overall margin of error.

    I mostly agree. First of all, 500 is a small sample for a third party candidate (because of the MOE). Accuracy at a state level is significantly lower. For a median-sized state, a sample of 500 nationally provides a rough MOE of +/- 20% at the state level.

    Generally (unless I have the cross-tabs) I just do some rough mental guesstimations based on probable ballot access predictions. I merely wish there was a cost-effective solution when dealing with state-by-state polling data for third party candidates.

  14. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Speaking of polls, a question for Steve Gordon . . . can you say at this point when results of the Libertarian Lists survey conducted over the last few days (late last week) will be available?

  15. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Stefan Says:
    April 16th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    ” . . . nominate a LP pair team that can “integrate”, “unite” all three major third parties: CP, GP and LP under the LP banner? As an example,
    a Barr-Ruwart for instance ticket would be able to attract from all three . . .”,

    Why not Ruwart/Barr, or (heaven forbid) Ruwart/Root?

    I guess the only problem with Ruwart at the top of the ticket is that “pro-life” people (Constitution Party) folks tend to “acid-test” candidates on this issue, that is they MUST be extremely “pro-life”. Mary Ruwart does not run on a “pro-choice” only platform, though she has said that she is pro-choice in her personal view. That stance would undoubtedly be unacceptable to the CP delegates.

  16. Laine Says:

    I have to say this is not a good follow up for Nader with his previous 5-6% vote nation wide and 10% in Michigan. I can only hope his numbers will improve as he secures what ballot lines he can.

  17. Laine Says:

    Though I must say why are they polling registered Democrats that vote in primaries in races involving Republicans, Independents and Libertarians? It seems like they should take their poll from all potential voters not just ones that are registered Democrat.

  18. Laine Says:

    Nevermind I read the actual Zogby poll and it clarified their process.

  19. Alex Says:

    Mr. Milnes, please explain how Dr. Ruwart is in any way “right-wing.”

    Calling her “right-wing” perpetuates the myth that pure libertarianism is somehow “right-wing,” somehow related to conservatism. (Socialism, as most Americans understand the term, has a much stronger connection to conservatism than does libertarianism.)

    Was Harry Browne a rightist? Obviously not. Further, as far as I’m concerned, Ralph Nader and Mike Gravel are much more right-wing than the likes of Ruwart or Browne, as the former two permit far more government meddling in our lives than the latter two.

    Mr. LaBianca:

    Does she support Roe?

    Alex

  20. Dave Williams Says:

    Polls are bullshit.

  21. Peter Orvetti Says:

    I recall Browne running between about 0.6% and 1.4% in Zogby polls throughout the 2000 general election season, back when I ran Orvetti.com and used to report on these kinds of things.

  22. Sobriquet Says:

    Robert,

    You’re right on. I actually discussed this exact issue with Mike Gravel a few weeks ago when he was in town and it seems to me that he thinks very much along the same lines as you in terms of a joint Green/LP ticket.

  23. Jonathan Cymberknopf Says:

    I can only hope Bobb Barr wins the nomination, he would start with all the Ron Paul supporters which is a great start. Polling 2% without having spent any money and not even be the nominee at this point is great ! At the same time it is great to see Ralph Nader getting respect at 3% . After all Nader is looking to be on less than 35 ballots this 2008 election. These are the only 2 options that are viable for this 2008 election if you are not voting for the duopoly. Nader and Barr’s numbers are sure to increase once we are down to 2 candidates in this Duopoly.

  24. Mike Gillis Says:

    Nader has started on his ballot access far earlier than he did in 2004, as he didn’t have a possible Green endorsement up in the air this time around.

    He’s on track to be on more ballots this time around, from an earlier start, experience fighting challenges from last time around and he seems to be avoiding the dirty tricks campaigns of the Democrats from 2004 - and the Obama/Clinton fighting is giving him alot of cover to just petition in peace, without legal challenges or harrassment campaigns.

    Already he’s very likely to be on one ballot he didn’t get on in 2004: Hawaii. And he’s very likely to be on the New Mexico ballot and is fighting hard for Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida as we speak.

    If this continues, I could see him getting on at least 40 ballots. Which isn’t bad at all, considering that he’s starting at zero and the LP starts at about 20 at the starting line.

  25. Eric Dondero Says:

    Umm, well I guess some doubters owe the rest of us who’ve been saying a Barr candidacy could bring the LP “millions of votes” an apology.

    Thomas Knapp, you’re first in line. You’ve been awfully cynical about Barr.

    Now we have solid proof he’s polling 2%. That translates to about 2.5 to 2.8 million votes.

    That’s almost three times as much as Ed Clark in 1980.

    Now does anyone here seriously believe that Mary Ruwart, or Steve Kubby could rack up such numbers?

  26. Eric Dondero Says:

    Ballot access questions.

    Will it be possible for Barr (or Root) to be on in Oklahoma as a write-in candidate?

    Also, what about Puerto Rico and Guam? If the LP nominee gets on in PR and/or Guam, that sort of makes up for OK.

    And y’all think about this. Won’t Oklahoma be shamed if it is the ONLY state in the Nation to not allow its citizens to vote for the Libertarian Party?

  27. Mike Gillis Says:

    As far as I know, OK is one of the few places that disallows write-in votes. You either vote for the duopoly candidates or no one at all.

  28. Andrew Taylor Says:

    “And y’all think about this. Won’t Oklahoma be shamed if it is the ONLY state in the Nation to not allow its citizens to vote for the Libertarian Party?”

    Oklahoma already has plenty to be ashamed about, starting with its idiot, knuckle-dragging senior U.S. senator, Jim Inhofe, and a moron in the state legislature named Sally Kern, who recently declared that homosexuals were—I kid you not—a greater threat to America than “radical Islamic terrorists.” After she received much-deserved national contempt and scorn, more than 1,000 people (yes, you read that right) packed the Oklahoma state capital in support of her.

    And, if you haven’t already guessed, both of these miscreants are members of Mr. Dondero’s party, the GOP.

    I seriously doubt that the mouth-breathing simpletons of Oklahoma are going to lose any sleep over keeping the LP, and every other third party, off of their ballot.

  29. Robert Milnes Says:

    Sobriquet, interesting. Tom Knapp & I have discussed this for about 5 years now. The Gravel campaign should seek our aqdvice.

  30. Mike Gillis Says:

    Still though, the non-mouth breathers deserve a candidate to vote for, too.

  31. Robert Milnes Says:

    This also doesn’t take into account that there will be a green & cp nominee.

  32. Yank Says:

    Why are so many libertarian women without asses? Where are the libertarian women with ass?

  33. G.E. Says:

    Yank - Have Milnes tuck in his wang for you and turn around. He gets plenty of practice in front of his mirror, pretending to do the nightly news.

  34. Yank Says:

    G.E. must be a tit man.

  35. Yank Says:

    Name one libertarian with a good ass.

  36. Dave Williams Says:

    Yank go here!! http://www.angelakeaton.com/about

  37. Dave Williams Says:

    G.E. Says:
    April 17th, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Yank - Have Milnes tuck in his wang for you and turn around. He gets plenty of practice in front of his mirror, pretending to do the nightly news.

    LOL

  38. Dave Williams Says:

    “And, if you haven’t already guessed, both of these miscreants are members of Mr. Dondero’s party, the GOP.”

    A.T.,
    That is one of my biggest pet peeves with that party…the bigotry knows no bounds. And it’s not only directed at Gay’s, look at the crap Romney had to put up with about his religion…I’m an atheist and even I thought it was a fucking disgrace.

  39. Thomas L. Knapp Says:

    Eric,

    “Thomas Knapp, you’re first in line. You’ve been awfully cynical about Barr.

    “Now we have solid proof he’s polling 2%. That translates to about 2.5 to 2.8 million votes.”

    I don’t have any basis for comparison, since I don’t know of any nationwide polling of prior LP candidates at this point in the election cycle.

    HOWEVER, in 2004 an LP campaign finally did the obvious and started doing SOME polling (using Rasmussen). In August of 2004, Michael Badnarik polled at 5% in New Mexico, both before and after he visited and ran campaign advertising at the same time Bush and Kerry targeted the state. On election day, he received 0.3%, or about 1/16th what his August polling indicated.

    So, the closest thing we have “solid evidence” of is that we could expect Barr to get about 1/8th of 1% of the vote. Not even Bergland territory—more like McBride territory.

    Like Williams says—polls are bullshit, at least as predictors of actual performance. You and I both know that Barr would get far more than 150,000 votes. I suppose it’s possible that he might break into the 2 million area, which would be nice if he actually accomplished something productive by doing so. I don’t regard repositioning the Libertarian Party as “GOP, Jr.” to be productive.

    “Now does anyone here seriously believe that Mary Ruwart, or Steve Kubby could rack up such numbers?”

    I doubt that either Kubby or Ruwart could get 2.5-3 million votes, although I wouldn’t write off the possibility that either one of them could break a million. The difference between them and Barr is that votes cast for them would be more heavily weighted toward libertarian, rather than conservative, votes. Since I’m interested in building a libertarian political party rather than a conservative political party, the votes that Kubby or Ruwart would get are far more valuable to me than any votes [insert conservative candidate here] could get.

  40. Dave Williams Says:

    Yes Tom, polls are bullshit.

  41. Clark Says:

    LOL! Why don’t you phony ‘Libertarians’ apparently worried only about ‘who can get “us” the highest vote total’ merely co-endorse john stinking mccain, stinking clinton, stinking obama (shame on you stoooooooooooopid ‘anti-war’ types for falling for this fraud)

    ..(that way the shmucks can claim ‘our candidate in 2008 got 40%, etc. of the vote!’)

    BTW, EDITORS AT “3RD PARTY NEWS,” BEFORE WE GET A “3RD PARTY” WE’LL NEED A 2ND ONE FIRST!! ...and Bobo Barf, etcetercrats galore, are still in the 1st.. ;o)

  42. Peter Orvetti Says:

    It’s safe to say that based on past results, Generic Candidate (Libby Tarian or Lou Bertarian) will get 300,000-500,000 votes going in. That seems to the the LP baseline, no matter how strong or weak a campaign, no matter how close the general election. Crossing 1,000,000 votes would be a nice moral victory, but would still be less than one percent. (One percent of the 2004 total popular vote would have been 1,222,676 votes, and I imagine turnout will be as high or higher this year.) If making a splash is the goal, maybe the LP ticket should focus less on vote total than in placing third. Besting Nader would get a little bit of “well, isn’t that something” coverage—and the LP came close to that four years ago.

  43. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Alex Says:
    April 16th, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Mr. LaBianca:

    Does she (Ruwart) support Roe? (Clarification added)

    Alex, to my knowledge, Mary Ruwart’s position is that as a political/lawful issue, the “abortion is murder” argument is that abortion, as a crime, is one which states handle . . . crimes/murder! She understands that the American Constitution does NOT delegate authority to the federal gov’t to prosecute for any crimes other than treason, piracy or counterfeiting.

    In a nutshell, the logical extension of this is that Roe vs. Wade was unlawfully heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. That would make it an illegitimate decision, regardless of whether or not Ms. Ruwart agrees with the substance of the decision.

    I would be VERY surprised if Mary Ruwart holds a position any different than what I’ve verbalized here.

  44. Steve LaBianca Says:

    Thomas Knapp said “Since I’m interested in building a libertarian political party rather than a conservative political party, the votes that Kubby or Ruwart would get are far more valuable to me than any votes [insert conservative candidate here] could get.”

    I been saying this for a long time, but I thank Mr. Knapp for putting it so clearly.

    Surely, there are way more than two or three of us who STILL believe, and KNOW that that is WHAT the goal is, as we are the “LIBERTARIAN PARTY”.

  45. Alexander S. Peak Says:

    Yank asks, “Name one libertarian with a good ass.”

    I’ve been told on a number of occassions that I have one. So, me.

    Mr. Knapp writes, “I doubt that…Ruwart could get 2.5-3 million votes, although I wouldn’t write off the possibility that [she] could break a million. The difference between [her] and Barr is that votes cast for [her] would be more heavily weighted toward libertarian, rather than conservative, votes. Since I’m interested in building a libertarian political party rather than a conservative political party, the votes that Kubby or Ruwart would get are far more valuable to me than any votes [insert conservative candidate here] could get.”

    I tend to agree.

    Mr. LaBianca:

    I’m familiar with the libertarian position that the federal government should have no involvement in abortion, and share that position. I would also be surprised if Ruwart did not also share it. My point in asking was to point out that even hardcore anti-abortionists could vote for the pro-choice Ruwart when considering that she would not enforce her pro-choice views at the federal level, and would instead work to keep the federal government out of the question entirely.

    Cheers,
    Alex Peak

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