Is it good news for Republicans?
MSNBC.com is reporting that Ralph Nader is scheduled to appear on "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert on Sunday, sparking rumors he's planning to jump in the race for president as an independent candidate.
In 2004, Nader announced his presidential campaign on Russert's show.
Democrats are still furious with Nader for running in 2000 and allegedly stealing away Al Gore's skinny lead over future President George W. Bush and shifting the electoral vote count to Republicans.
I can already hear Democrats filling their lungs with vitriol, and while initial appearances may warrant their complaints is it possible that if the Republican nominee is in fact John McCain (which appears to be the most likely scenario), would a Nader campaign draw away his voters?
At first, I thought it might, but the more I think about it, the more I doubt it. Although there will be independents who undoubtedly cross over to Nader's campaign, I don't think they're going to be the ones McCain and his camp will be worrying about. McCain's independents are mostly disenfranchised Republicans, such as Libertarians, Constitutionists and other independent conservatives. These people won't vote for Nader because of his past affiliation with the Green party, which most conservatives see as too liberal.
Nader likely will pull votes from Democrats because his issues are tightly aligned with theirs: he's pro-union, wants to immediately reverse the policy on the war in Iraq and plans to adopt a single-payer national health insurance if he is elected (which is highly unlikely).
As much fuss as the Democrats made about Nader's impact on the 2000 election, they had plenty of time to compensate for the votes he undoubtedly was going to siphon away, and maybe this time, they'll be better prepared and more organized.
But then, organization has never really been the Democrats' rallying cry.
More on Ralph Nader at About.com: