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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Nader Hurting Kerry in PA

Posted by DavidNYC

This is the kind of thing I hate to see: A new Q-Poll in PA shows the following:

Kerry: 40
Bush: 44
Nader: 7

Without Nader, here's how it looks:

Kerry: 45
Bush: 44

It goes without saying that I hope the Nader number heads steadily downward. The good news is that he only pulled 2.1% in PA in 2000, and I have a hard time imagining he can do better than that this time around. Furthermore, 18% of respondents said they still hadn't heard enough about Kerry to form an opinion of him, while only 1% said the same thing about Bush. So I think once the Kerry campaign gets into full swing in Pennsylvania (and it surely will), his increased name recognition will give him a boost - at Nader's (and maybe even Bush's) expense.

(Via Political Wire.)

Posted at 05:29 PM in Pennsylvania | Technorati


I think Eric Alterman's scathing diatribes, which he unleashes almost every time he's on TV (most recently on Charlie Rose last night), against Ralph Nader are completely justified.

Posted by: Glenn Rehn at March 18, 2004 11:43 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I can't quite place what Nader's numbers now mean in Pennsylvania. Is it all a question of methodology--are a good chunk of the people who are supporting Nader in the polls people who actually aren't likely to vote? Or has Nader been more successful at broadcasting his message than I realize? Are these people who haven't yet heard much (or anything) about Kerry? Given the lack of a contested primary here in PA, it's not impossible that there are a fair number of people who have heard of Nader who have never heard of Nader.

My smart-aleck theory is that this is, in fact, the fabled NASCAR Dad vote--the very same people who enjoy watching car crashes are excited by the possibility of seeing a great trainwreck on Post-Election Wednesday. I wrote about this, at perhaps unconscionable length, at the specific post cited below:


Posted by: Greg at March 18, 2004 02:16 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Why shouldn't I vote for Nader or some other non-major party candidate?

Has Kerry explained what he'd do about Iraq?

Posted by: Carl Nyberg at March 18, 2004 09:00 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Nader polled much higher than he pulled in votes in 2000. I expect that dichotomy to be larger in 2004.

I am struggling with this one. I pretty much can't see myself voting for Nader in 2004 because Bush is so bad. But Kerry's failure to make a convincing case for him is bothering me - much as Carl hints at above.

Too many Democrats run for office on the basis that they are better than Republicans instead of on their own merits. I consider this stand for nothing campaigning to be a bit of a plague on the democratic process. Its full damage is hard to measure but I believe it to be significant.

2004 may be one of those times where it makes more sense to choose a candidate based on their opponent. I don't disagree that there aren't such times, just that they are too common these days.

Posted by: seamus at March 18, 2004 11:39 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Why shouldn't I vote for Nader or some other non-major party candidate?

I don't want to get bogged down in this debate, but I'll give you two quick reasons:

1) You support lifting the global gag rule, which Kerry will do on his first day in office.

2) You don't want to see Stevens, O'Connor and Rehnquist replaced by three ultra-conservative, young Clarence Thomas-type justices, which Bush will do if he is re-elected.

I think you could easily come up with many more.

But the bottom line is, you have to decide whether or not you think issues like this matter more to you than Kerry's stance on Iraq. For me, there is simply no question - even though I can't stand Democratic fecklessness any more than Seamus can. I'd love to have a candidate I could love (like Dean), but even though that's not the case, getting rid of Bush matters too much to me.

This is a personal decision, of course - but I hope you'll agree with me.

Posted by: DavidNYC at March 19, 2004 10:44 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Speaking of Kerry, Nader, and Bush. I just visited with my old man. He voted for Bush in 2000. He is registered Dem but doesn't consider himself Dem anymore (just hasn't changed his registration). Anyhow, he is upset with Bush over Iraq in particular but also his environmental policies (which I gladly update him on). To sum things up he told us that he was leaning towards voting for Nader this year. He said that he simply can't vote Dem and is too upset to just vote for Bush. And he admires Nader from years back. Obviously he hasn't made up his mind but it was good to hear that he was thinking of anyone else but Bush. Ironically, although Nader is my ideal candidate I'll probably end up voting for Kerry because beating Bush is so important to me. Go figure!

Posted by: seamus at March 19, 2004 03:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

The same thing is going on in NH. Nader is pulling 7 or 8 points, enough to put Bush 4 or 5 over Kerry. Without Nader Bush is only two points up.

New ARG Poll just out.

I pity the fool that asks me to sign Nader's petition to get on the ballot.

Posted by: AndyS at March 19, 2004 06:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

This is the ARG Poll for New Hampshire that Andy points us to:

Bush: 45
Kerry: 39
Nader: 8

Without Nader:

Bush: 47
Kerry: 45

I just think Nader's support is quite soft. Remember when Dean was getting close to 40% in the NH primary polls - and how almost half of that disappeared overnight after Kerry's win. I just don't see Nader being that strong. Plus, he might not even get on the ballot in many states.

Posted by: DavidNYC at March 19, 2004 06:42 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hillary hurting Kerry in PA?

She promises no new gun control initiatives during her Convention speech in Boston, and Pennsylvania, West Virginia are locks.

Posted by: Ben Masel at March 21, 2004 04:33 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

David, I hope you are right. Perhaps Nader's support is soft. I just find it surprising that after four years of Bush that so many progressives (?) would even consider not voting against him in the most effective way.

Having said that I do expect Kerry to carry New Hampshire....narrowly.

Posted by: AndyS at March 21, 2004 01:31 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Undecideds always break at the last minute against the incumbent or -in the case of a non-incumbent- against the front runner.If Kerry is up or even or down by 3/5 to 4/5 of the total Undecideds on the Saturday night before the election he will win any given state.

No offense, but anybody unwilling to vote for Kerry in this particular race is out of his or her damn mind. You put Bush back in for four more years and you won't even recognize this country.

Posted by: Steve at March 21, 2004 02:53 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree with the points about polling numbers for independent candidates; they have run high in the past.

I also think that if the pollsters are doing their jobs--and getting to people who aren't paying much attention--then the numbers could reflect a good number of people who hate Bush, who Nader is, and who aren't familiar with Kerry.

Which is a challenge to the Kerry campaign, but one they can meet. I'm sure they'll get his name out, but it's too bad the primary is so late and so irrelevant. It would be some free publicity for Kerry, if it was still contested.

The good news is the Club for Growth ads (implicitly pushing for Toomey) which call Specter a "shadow" of Kerry. That's exactly what we want independent and moderate Pennsylvania voters to hear--if Kerry gets any significant portion of the independent vote that Specter has traditionally received, we'll be in good shape in Pennsylvania, Nader or no Nader.

Posted by: Greg at March 22, 2004 03:36 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Frankly, I am sick of the Democratic Party using the excuse that nader is their problem. Maybe the issue that they need to confront os the platform that Nader is running on. Is there something that there that Kerry is missing? Yes.
I, like many, do not wish to see Mr. Bush back in the white House for 4 more years, but the Democratic party has lost it's spine. At least Bush has a spine, be it very crooked.
The Democratic Party is about to launch a massive legal and public campaign against Nader. They are looking to steal his incredibly small percentage votes. One thing to remember is that many of those voting for Nader do not wish to see either Bush or Kerry in the white House. The Democrats looking to sink Nader would do better to push harder against leaning Republicans than hard core liberals.
The Democrats want to take legal steps to keep nader off the ballot this November. Wow, what could be any more democratic than that? Democracy in action. You will only look like fools once again. The democrats will chop off their own heads this election much like they did in 2000. Nader is not their problem. The problem is their ability to hold their own against the Republicans. Without their spine, they will sulk down below Bush again. Even while he is bent over.
Leave Nader alone. He is just attempting to get Americans to see what our country needs, not what it is told it needs. Take on the Republicans directly and fight it out in a democratic fashion. Stand up for once Democrats. Take a hint from Kucinich. He holds your missing 5% swing votes. If Kerry adopts just a few of his platforms it will give the added boost the Democrats are going to need to get this current mess out of the white House. -Ian

Posted by: Ian at May 21, 2004 12:00 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Nader is definitely polling higher than he'll get on election night. A lot of Nader voters are probably mentioning him as a protest. Also, many will find he's not even on their local ballot. I think Nader will pull 1 to 2% this fall, some of it Bush protest voters, so his effect should be rather null. This election is Kerry's to lose.

Posted by: Rock_nj at May 21, 2004 06:37 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment