March 17, 2004


John Kerry’s mythological gang of foreign leaders may have their dreams ruined by Ralph Nader:

A new poll suggested yesterday that Ralph Nader's independent presidential bid represented a serious threat to the Democratic candidate, Senator John Kerry.

The New York Times and CBS News poll revealed a tight two-man race for the White House between President George Bush and Mr Kerry. Mr Bush had a narrow lead of 46% over Mr Kerry's 43% - within the poll's margin of error.

But when Americans were asked about a three-man race including Mr Nader, the 70-year-old consumer activist attracted 7% support, mostly at the expense of the Democrat. In that contest, Mr Bush led Mr Kerry by 46% to 38%.


Posted by Tim Blair at March 17, 2004 01:24 PM

Go Ralph go!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 17, 2004 at 01:27 PM

The evil, Zionist conspiracy is working again. Excellent.

Posted by: Marty at March 17, 2004 at 01:37 PM

Nadar only had 3% of the vote in 2000. It is hard to believe that he can increase his share of the vote 7%.

Posted by: perfectsense at March 17, 2004 at 01:49 PM

Nader went from 5% the day before the 2000 election to 2.5% the day of. If it looks close between Bush and Kerry, Nader won't get more than 2% November 2nd.

Posted by: Johnny at March 17, 2004 at 02:04 PM

"Nadar only had 3% of the vote in 2000. It is hard to believe that he can increase his share of the vote 7%"

You haven't listened to many of Kerry's speeches yet, have you? The Anybody But Bush crowd are thinking 'Anybody But Bush...or this hosebag, Kerry. Who, by the way, served in Vietnam'.

Posted by: Carl H. at March 17, 2004 at 02:08 PM

I'm going to donate at least as much money to Nader as to Bush -- that's money well spent.

Posted by: Andrew at March 17, 2004 at 02:12 PM

Polls are like assholes.
To tell the truth, I was more encouraged by Tim's post a few days back, showing a poll with Mondale and Reagan neck and neck. Also the McGovern/Nixon poll was encouraging.

I have seen nothing to shake my feeling that Bush will win a landslide victory. Remember, only CNN thought Kerry was in a race for the Democratic nomination after the Iowa caucus. All the networks make the shit up as they go.

Posted by: Papertiger at March 17, 2004 at 02:17 PM

I am concerned that Kerry's presence on the ballot could cost Nader the Presidency. Please join me in urging Kerry to drop out in favor of Nader. We must not have a repeat of 2000 when Gore denied Nader the Presidency . . . .

Yes, nurse, I promise to take my medication . . .

Posted by: Lewis at March 17, 2004 at 02:19 PM

In light of recent events in SPain, we need to keep Nadar in the race. He may have only received 2.5% of the vote, but most analysts have stated that it came mostly from Gore, who wouldbe a disaster as president in the current environment. Bush must continue to prosecute this war, Kerry would be a disaster. He would endanger my family's life, which concerns me naturally.

Posted by: JEM at March 17, 2004 at 02:35 PM

This election is going to be like that scene from the first Austin Powers. We'll be standing around the table in our Evil Lair laughing maniacally in fits, with no cue to stop.

Posted by: Aaron at March 17, 2004 at 02:37 PM

But, JEM! If Kerry won, you'd wake up one day, and there would suddenly be no icky violence, free health care for all, state-paid university, no pollution, and clean, safe, fast, efficient mass-transit across the entire nation, plus, terrorists would join hands and sing Kumbaya with us. All at current tax rates!



Posted by: Aaron at March 17, 2004 at 02:39 PM

I agree with Papertiger. Looking at the polls this early in the game does nothing but maybe raise the morale of either side that is ahead, and if you look around enough you could find a poll that fits your needs.

Posted by: Aggie at March 17, 2004 at 02:51 PM

Yes, great news. But I'm beginning to be optimistic anyway (Actually there was nowhere to go but up after the Spanish electorate chose al Qaeda over Western civilization and after hearing that Mel Gibson may be getting ready to jump ship on Bush over . . . [sigh] . . . Saddam's WMDs).

But as horribly as the news these past few have been for the President and after the months and months of unreciprocated pounding he's taken during the Democratic seditious weasel auditions, he's STILL running neck and neck with Kerry, snake, and Karl Rove hasn't even raised his iron sights yet.

In fact, in some major surveys, he's up:


New York Times (How'd it dodge the spike?)

Plus, there's no precedent for a candidate like Kerry, snake, with a clearly invertebrate approach to foreign policy, defeating a hawkish president when the U.S. feels threatened; and you KNOW those silly al Qaeda bastards are going to pull off some shit to stimulate that sense of self-preservation that some of us so arrogantly and uncontinentally feel.

Posted by: DrZin at March 17, 2004 at 03:16 PM

I wish people wouldn't misspell Ralphie's name - isn't it really NADIR??

Posted by: SezaGeoff at March 17, 2004 at 03:21 PM

Nader's giving a talk on consumer advocacy at the University of Rochester, where I work, next week. I plan on live-blogging it, assuming I can get a wireless connection in the auditorium. It may end up being dead-blogged.

Posted by: Donald S. Crankshaw at March 17, 2004 at 03:44 PM

My song for Ralph :

Must be sung in C (Black or Caspian)


If you go away on a summers day
then you might as well
take Kerry as well.....

...but if you stay
I'll make you a day (7 May okay?)
Like no day has been
or will be again.

We'll light up (that's my interpretation if you don't like it .....)

(ends here with humming etc)

Posted by: Traps at March 17, 2004 at 03:47 PM

Is Ralph Nader a franchise?

The Australian election is due November.

Posted by: ilibcc at March 17, 2004 at 03:56 PM

We have our own Green remember? Bob Brown

*shudders uncontrollably*

Unfortunately we also have preferential voting, so all voting for the Greens does is deliver a Labor government and some extra looney Senators in the upper house.

Posted by: Quentin George at March 17, 2004 at 03:58 PM

He's retiring to his hollow treestump in Tasmania where he can do no harm.

Posted by: ilibcc at March 17, 2004 at 04:22 PM

What the current poll indicates is a lack of enthusiasm for the Democratic nominee.

It's unlikely Nader will garner 7% on election day. Some of the disenchanted will most likely return to the fold, some will vote Nader, and some will stay home.

It's too early to guess the final result but it can't be good for Kerry that, at the moment he carried the Party across the threshold, the honeymoon was declared over.

Posted by: lyle at March 17, 2004 at 04:54 PM

No one cares about Ralph Nader anymore. Stop beating a dead horse, Tim!

The real story here is that the Hamburglar just stole all the hamburgers in Iraq and has escaped in an old Model T that was provided by, you guessed it, Haliburton.

Posted by: Memesis at March 17, 2004 at 05:28 PM

Always worth reading the fine print of these things.

Of the sample polled, 37% voted for Bush in 2000, while 27% voted for Gore. Another 29% didn't vote at all.

Also worth noting that among the vice-presidential match-ups, they haven't started testing Kerry-McCain yet.

Posted by: Mork at March 17, 2004 at 05:48 PM


I saw a story on that - and it is inconsistent with what exit polling said in 2000. I think they might be fibbing.

Posted by: JEM at March 18, 2004 at 12:27 AM


Yes, how could I be so foolish, all is well, life is great, let me have another sip of this very tasty koolaid! I feel better already.

Posted by: JEM at March 18, 2004 at 12:29 AM

Did the pollsters sample foreign leaders? Or at least those considered likely voters?

Posted by: Tongue Boy at March 18, 2004 at 12:43 AM

Lyle is right. The Nader showing is almost certainly indicative of unease about Kerry by a segment of the electorate that Kerry really needs. Are they likely to go and actually vote for Ralph (assuming he is on their ballot, which is no sure thing)? It probably depends on how energized they are by other races. If they have another important, close race (like Illinois Senate race) they may turn out and either vote for Nader or skip the Presidency race. If there is no important down ballot race, they may just stay home. This pattern has existed in the US for decades.

The poll demonstrates at least some weakness in the Kerry campaign, and demonstrates his dilemma. If he moves in a direction to satisfy the Nader voters, he loses votes in the middle. There's lots more votes in the middle, but he needs those Nader voters. What to do?

For once, Mork has an interesting post. Kerry-McCain is certainly intriguing. I would bet big dollars it doesn't happen for a reason not usually discussed: Just about no Senator likes, or can even stand, Kerry. Does McCain want to be VP (and/or put his finger in Bush's eye) so much that he will put up with Kerry? Doubtful. What does he gain? If he doesn't switch parties (seems doubtful) he is in trouble with his Republican colleagues if he loses. If he switches and the Republicans remain in the majority, he loses much of his power. Lose-lose. McCain is smarter than that.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 18, 2004 at 12:45 AM

How truly desperate and pathetic it is that so many Democrats are salivating for McCain to be the VP designate. If Kerry is such an outstanding choice as some have proposed (including all those "foreign" leaders), then he should be able to be elected on his own merits irregardless of who he chooses as his running mate. It just begs reason to think that the Dems and their supporters need a pro-war, anti-abortion, pro-gun, lifelong Republican to shore up their ticket, if indeed the platform and agenda they are espousing is as popular and desirable amongst the majority of the electorate as they would have you believe.

Posted by: MB at March 18, 2004 at 01:22 AM

Also remember that Nader's numbers will be much lower than the polls, since he won't actually be on the ballot in most states, and I doubt many will write him in.

Posted by: Dave at March 18, 2004 at 01:40 AM

First there was the Atkins Diet, now we have the Nader Exercise Program: Run every four years.

Posted by: Ernie G at March 18, 2004 at 02:31 AM

the 70-year-old consumer activist attracted 7% support, mostly at the expense of the Democrat

Um...and just which Republicans would consider switching to Nader?

Posted by: Kenny at March 18, 2004 at 04:51 AM

Well, here's hoping Al Qaeda doesn't target Ralph. Nader doesn't _sound_ like a Spanish name.

And if the race stays tight, the pressure can only build on Dick Cheney to step down, opening up the door to either Bush-Rice, or ... dare we suggest ... Bush-McCain? Bush could remain loyal to Cheney by making him Sec. of State instead, after Powell quits. State needs a good scrubbing anyway.

Posted by: ras at March 18, 2004 at 05:46 AM

Sorry, Ras. As a Republican myself, I insist on a ticket that is ALL Republican.
In other words, McCain is right out.

Posted by: Dave P. at March 18, 2004 at 07:16 AM

Bush could remain loyal to Cheney by making him Sec. of State instead, after Powell quits. State needs a good scrubbing anyway.

Excellent point. I also think it's a mistake to not have a VP that will be able to take advantage of incumbency in 2008. Although I think that a Bush-McCain ticket is only slightly more likely than a Kerry-McCain partnership.

But I couldn't agree with you more about the ****suckers at the State Department. For any kind of Democratic candidate operating anywhere near reality, the fact that State and the CIA haven't undergone a full-on, Stalinesque purging would be a clear chink in President Bush's anti-terror armor.

Unfortunately for both parties, the Democrats can't make an issue of this because they like all of the nuance-mongering and sensitivity-blunted, quarter-hearted countermeasures.

Posted by: DrZin at March 18, 2004 at 07:17 AM

JEM - yes - they might be fibbing. Although usually people only lie about having voted for successful presidents!

But it could also be dems who want to try to create an impression of a swing by saying that they voted for Bush but now they're going to vote against him ... it's a popular meme this year on both sides ... such as all those patently fake emails that Instapundit keeps running saying "I used to be a Dem but now I'm going to vote for Bush".

Re: Nader - either he's completely insane, or his plan is to run long enough to activate whatever base he has and then drop out saying "this one's too important to waste your vote on me - use it to elect Kerry".

But I suspect the former.

Posted by: Mork at March 18, 2004 at 09:07 AM

What's most heartening about all these polls is that, after the relentless drubbing by the democrats, after all the news-slanting by the New York Times, after all the below-the-belt rumor-mongering about Bush's military record (with no notice that his current military record should include the liberation of two nations and millions of people), that he's STILL running neck-and-neck with Kerry!

Is this their best punch?

Posted by: Bill Peschel at March 18, 2004 at 11:03 AM

. . .such as all those patently fake emails that Instapundit keeps running saying "I used to be a Dem but now I'm going to vote for Bush".

I'm sure you've got the juicy evidence to back that assumption up now, having exhaustively researched this, right?

. . .


Posted by: Sortelli at March 18, 2004 at 01:35 PM

Yes Mork where is your proof?. Or is that only expected of others.

Posted by: Gary at March 18, 2004 at 03:15 PM

Nah, mate, just bitter, twisted and cynical old me putting two and two together.

Andrew Sullivan ran a few, too, only going the other way. Interestingly, Instapundit only started running his after Andy had published a couple and then speculated that they might have been a set-up.

For the record, I don't think Insty made them up himself. I just think there's a bunch of people on both sides who have taken up this sort of thing as a hobby. But Insty is the type of fellow who questions nothing that falls his way, and everything that falls the other.

But, seriously, read them. They're all exactly the same.

Posted by: Mork at March 18, 2004 at 03:21 PM

mmm Attributing views to him without evidence Mork. Then playing coy, How typical!

Posted by: Gary at March 18, 2004 at 03:47 PM

Is that supposed to be haiku?

Posted by: Mork at March 18, 2004 at 03:59 PM