Measuring Nader and Barr

Mark Blumenthal, on NationalJournal.com, warns that if history is any indication, support for Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr and independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is being overstated in current polling.

Blumenthal rests his case on the record of previous campaigns, such as those of Nader (2000 and 2004), Pat Buchanan, George Wallace, Ross Perot, and John Anderson. In each case, the vote percentage they got on Election Day was lower than what they received in polls during the summer.

“Unfortunately, we lack clear-cut answers” as to why this happens, admits Blumenthal, but he poses this as one possible answer:

One theory is that the lack of perceived viability eventually erodes their support. Voters might truly prefer a Nader or a Barr but ultimately decide that their vote is better used to decide between the major-party candidates.

5 Responses to “Measuring Nader and Barr”

  1. Roscoe Says:

    Let’s US whine that the major parties are stealing our votes!

  2. jason Says:

    I already tried that in 2000 and nobody cared.

  3. Anti-Corporate Says:

    Here’s an interesting quote from Ralph Nader about working with Bob Barr on ballot-access, etc. The entire transcript of the chat from which the quote comes is here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/07/09/DI2008070901801.html

    And here is the quote:

    “Ralph Nader: We will be working with former congressman Bob Barr, of the Libertarian party, and other third parties to highlight the need for ending ballot access obstructions and moving toward one federal ballot access standard for all candidates seeking federal office whether for congress or the White House.

    I also favour public funding of public campaigns, IRV, an end to gerrymandering and binding none of the above on each ballot line to give voters the choice of voting no to all candidates on that ballot line.”

  4. Sam Says:

    Normally actual votes is far less than what a minor candidate polls at, but in Nader’s case, THIS YEAR, he has a chance to get in the Google debate in New Orleans. If he polls just four points higher he will be invited. If that happens, his support could increase even more so, and his issues will actually be heard, instead of ignored. So, even if nobody votes for him on election day, simply by polling high enough Nader could make a real positive difference this time around.

  5. MPM Says:

    Sam,

    Same goes for Barr since he’s gotten 6% on three different occasions. Unfortunately Nader’s poll numbers will likely only go down after his statements implying that Obama is an Uncle Tom.

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