The power of the other candidates

Douglas E. Schoen, a pollster, writes in the Los Angeles Times that “the presidential election could well turn on a factor that has gotten virtually no discussion this year—the votes drawn by Libertarian Bob Barr, Green Cynthia McKinney and independent Ralph Nader.”

After demonstrating how their candidacies could make a difference in various states, Schoen asks: What accounts for their levels of support?

Most important, there is widespread—and growing—dissatisfaction with the major parties in America. Even the initial rise of Obama was in large part attributable to frustration with the political system and response to his call for a nonpartisan outsider to change Washington. McCain’s ongoing resurgence similarly can be attributed, at least in part, to his return to the maverick reformer message of his 2000 campaign. Even the popularity of his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, at its very core stems from a desire for new faces, new ideas and alternatives.

However, Obama has had to go negative, McCain has flip-flopped time and again from the maverick of old to the GOP’s status quo, and the Palin effect is wearing off as the governor’s politics appear to be no different from those inside the Beltway. Disenchanted voters are not fooled for long by rhetoric. As the major-party candidates show their true colors, many of these voters will start turning toward third-party alternatives.

6 Responses to “The power of the other candidates”

  1. Richgriffin Says:

    Which states specifically are these three candidates making a difference and how are they affecting the final outcomes??

  2. Registered Republican Says:

    when Nov 4th comes I’ll be glad to let you know

  3. DebbieKat Says:

    The article has more details about polling in specific states: NH, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan…

  4. Richgriffin Says:

    My belief is that if it becomes clear that Obama is going to win the Presidency, more voters will be able to let go of lesser-evilism and vote outside the system, which will in turn embolden people to run for local, state and federal offices as alternative party candidates. So I am hoping for a big collapse of the McCain campaign - this would be the best thing to happen for alternative parties this year. (I don’t in any way support Obama; I’m just discussing tactically what might be best for alternative other than Democrat or Republican parties and independent candidacies).

  5. David D.... Says:

    Richgriffin I agree with what your saying in part. To me your coming close to the words “spoiler” or “king maker” I don’t want and I would hope and frankly pray that the rest of us don’t want to be just that in this election cycle or any election cycle for that matter. We wanna win and win BIG and there by throwing it back up in there faces, those in the main and alternative media streams, who ignore and negate rather than discuss based on the whit, whim and exhorts of a pannel(s) of unelected, unaccountable and unpretencious group of people from the Commission on Presidential Debates and the Federal Election Committee.

    These folks are nothing more than political market corners and they have no rhyme or reason or allowance for such things. My question(s) who came up with these rules and bi-laws, where is the rules and bi-laws book and just how is it possible for them to have little to no accountability? So I don’t want to be a spoiler or a king maker, except in the voting booth, I wanna be a WINNER and be a WINNER now, not when its to late to do so and say, ‘oh well there’s always next time.’ that will never ever do, no indeed. I wanna be a WINNER now, not later will worry about later when it gets here…...

  6. Richgriffin Says:

    All we are going to get is next time, that’s reality. Of course we want it all now. Truth is the conservative movement built slowly and changed everything over a long period of time. The corporate media we have now is quite different than the corporate media of 20-30 years ago. It of course can change in another direction, but it takes work over a long period of time.

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