Nader in 2004! (OK, maybe not.)

Old Blog Import

No, I’m not a big Nader fan, and I hope someone else runs in his stead, but I did vote for him in the last election. Why? Because I couldn’t find any reasons to be pro-Gore other than to be anti-Bush. And because I was voting then in New Jersey (by Absentee Ballot by the way, which I no know is only counted if it is close, and also which tend to be overwhelmingly from overseas military who are pro-Republican), and Gore had New Jersey locked up. But now some people are blaming Gore’s loss on Nader. Is that accurate? Perhaps if one looks at national percentages, but a more detailed state-by-state analysis shows a different picture:

What a close reading of voting statistics does show … is that Al Gore is largely responsible for his own defeat.

Al Gore had been elected and re-elected to both the House and Senate from Tennessee. His father had also served for decades in the Senate. Nevertheless, he failed to carry his home state, 47 percent to Bush’s 51 percent. Nader’s 20,000 votes in Tennessee would not have made any difference. The same story happened in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas, which Gore lost to Bush, 46 to 51 percent. Nader’s one percent in Arkansas didn’t affect the outcome. West Virginia is so Democratic that Republican presidential candidates have carried the state only three times in the previous half century. Nevertheless, Gore managed to lose West Virginia by five percentage points to Bush. Nader’s 10,000 votes in West Virginia were well short of the margin of difference between Bush and Gore. Had Gore carried either his own home state, or even West Virginia, he would be president today.

Gore’s statewide vote totals consistently lagged behind those of Democratic candidates in gubernatorial and Senate races. In Georgia, for example, Gore’s statewide vote of 43 percent in the presidential race was significantly less than Democratic Senate candidate Zell Miller, who won 57 percent. In Connecticut, Gore trailed Democratic Senate candidate Joe Lieberman, 56 percent vs. 63 percent. In Wisconsin, Gore’s 48 percent was less than the 62 percent Democratic Senator Herbert Kohl received in his successful re-election bid.