April 23, 2004


Kerry faces battle for antiwar bloc's vote (Brian C. Mooney, April 23, 2004, Boston Globe)

Senator John F. Kerry may have won the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he still faces a fight for the hearts and minds of the party's antiwar wing.

With violence surging in Iraq, voters who want a quick end to the US-led occupation are shaping up as a potentially critical constituency, and Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is making a direct pitch for their support in November.

[P]olls indicated Nader is in mid-range single digits nationally. In 2000, when he received less than 3 percent of the total vote, the margin between Bush and Democrat Al Gore was less than half of 1 percent in five states -- Florida, New Mexico, Iowa, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

"A few percent in certain states, and he could turn the whole thing," said Don Kusler, spokesman for Americans for Democratic Action, a liberal advocacy group with 65,000 members. "He has the potential to have an enormous impact. It really depends on where the damage is done."

Nader is unfazed by Democratic critics who say that he was a spoiler four years ago when he ran under the Green Party banner and that he could be one in the election this year.

On Iraq, Nader told the Globe that Kerry's position is "the exact position needed not to get any votes on the issue." He added: "It's fuzzed. It's good he's saying we should go to the United Nations for authority . . . but by asking for more troops, he's basically validating Bush's occupation."

It's been obvious since Howard Dean collapsed that there was room in the general election for an overtly anti-war candidate. Given that opposition to the war on terror is the single most important issue to a significant portion of the Left, Mr. Nader should run ahead of where he did last time.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 23, 2004 8:50 AM

Depends on the late October polls. If the anti-war left thinks Kerry is statistically within striking distance of Bush, Nader's campaign will deflate as all but the hardest of the hardcore dump him to vote for the condament queen's significant other. But if Bush has a lead of five or more points in the polls, Nader may actually pick up additional votes on Election Day, as Democrats decide to vote how they truly believe, since the goal of ousting GWB is out of reach.

Posted by: John at April 23, 2004 9:03 AM

Theself-righteous never mind sinking their own party to prove a point, as witness the "conservatives" who bailed on George H. W. Bush to teach him a lesson.

Posted by: oj at April 23, 2004 9:18 AM

I look forward to seeing Nader get better than Perot or Wallace level results in places like Seattle or the SF Bay Area. I would think he'll spend October ignoring BushHitler The Smirking Chimp because he'll have that vote locked up months earlier, instead going after the people fed up with being betrayed by the incompetent Kerry campaign, people who will be wanting by then to send a message to the Dems. (The kind of people to whom "sending a message" is more important than what that message may contain or what it's effects will be.)

Gonna be fun to watch.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 23, 2004 11:58 AM

And meanwhile, the people further over on the right who just can't bring themselves to vote for Nader may be voting Libertarian. I know one Libertarian honcho in Texas who terms GWB, for no clear reason I have been able to divine, "King George III".

Posted by: Joe at April 23, 2004 10:53 PM

I think it possible that if the numbers look right Nader could surprise everyone by turning over his constituents to Kerrey. Of course not all would go; but the Deaniacs may. I hope he stays the course to the bitter end.

Posted by: genecis at April 24, 2004 1:50 PM