Douglas Schoen writes: Wrong About Nader: Far from being a vanity trip, a maverick candidacy could upend the presidential race — again.
Nader is undoubtedly a less appealing candidate than he was in 2000, when by winning 97,000 votes in Florida he famously cost Gore the election. But that doesn’t mean 2008 is going to be a repeat of 2004, when Nader attracted a mere 0.038 percent of the popular vote. On the contrary, the circumstances for Nader’s candidacy could hardly be better. The conditions this November will be more favorable to an independent, third-party candidacy than ever before. As a result, Nader stands a real chance of matching or even exceeding his 2000 performance, when he won 2.74 percent of the popular vote.
In 2004, Nader faltered because it was apparent that George W. Bush and John Kerry offered stark alternatives. But 2008 is not 2004. George W. Bush isn’t on the ballot this year. What the public wants is change. Research done by Rasmussen Reports in September shows that Nader’s candidacy is well positioned to capitalize on that desire. In a four-way race, Nader could get 4 percent, considerably more support than he received in 2000. A centrist alternative could do even better, easily attracting 15 to 30 percent of the electorate. Even Ron Paul could receive as much as 8 percent as a libertarian, fourth-party candidate.
In the Washington Post.
I think he is wrong. I hope he is wrong. But hoo-boy was I shocked when GW was re-elected—I thought the writing on the wall was crystal clear after four years. However, this may simply be a case of wishful thinking on Schoen’s part. The title of his book is Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System. He’s probably the one who convinced Nader to run. (Thank you Mr. Schoen. Not.)