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The Impact of Ralph Nader

By February 22, 2008

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Ralph Nader in September 2007

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.

Photo: Brian Smialowski/Getty Images

More on Ralph Nader at About.com:


February 23, 2008 at 3:32 am
(1) gravel kucinich paul nader says:

4 Wise Men march with the people
Washington DC

Honesty compassion intelligence guts
Not carrots sticks coercive diplomacy

Divided we fall
Mike Gravel
Dennis Kucinich
Ron Paul
Ralph Nader
No bribery blackmail extortion

February 23, 2008 at 3:46 pm
(2) Deborah White says:

I think that Ralph Nader’s time of relevance has passed. And I doubt that his entry into the presidential race will cause more than a minor ripple. For one thing, most voters under 30 year old probably don’t even know who he is. And the liberal base of the Democratic party is too furious with him over 2000 to ever again vote for him.

February 24, 2008 at 12:28 pm
(3) Brenda says:

Oh no, not another “old” crow! Talk about a real loser, that should be Nader’s middle name. His legacy is that of “Spoiler” and nothing more, he carries no relevance anymore.

February 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm
(4) Emmanuel Winner says:

I hold Nader partly responsible for the 4,000 American lives and the 700,000 Iraqi civilian lives lost in Iraq due to the foreign policy of George Bush, which would never have been realized without Nader’s interference in 2000.
Ralph – you too are a murderer, there is blood on your hands.

February 25, 2008 at 10:16 pm
(5) K. Brunett says:

Nader is a spoiler and if he thinks he has a cause , why didn’t he go after it before like he did with the car issues. If he’s not retiered he should be he’s to old. and a bid of a nut!

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