The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Assign the Blame

Did Nader cost Gore the 2000 election, as Bush Watch believes? A definitive answer is impossible, but my opinion is that he did not. It's important to remember that American elections are not really a zero-sum game, because people are not required to vote.

Nader generated a fair amount of attention, but few ballots. Nader was promoting left-wing ideas, and he may have inspired left-leaning voters to go to the polls. Many of them were sure to take the Bush Watch attitude -- a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush is a vote for chaining women to the kitchen table, ripping off their shoes, and impregnating them every ten months -- therefore resulting in an increased Democratic turnout.

Some number of Nader votes were protests, and would not have gone to any major party candidate. Also there were voters whose primary motivation was to vote against a candidate. A vote against Nader was a vote against both Gore and Bush, but because Gore was somewhat of an incumbent, it's likely that the Nader "anti" votes were really more anti-Gore than anti-Bush.



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