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  •  The point of this thread (3.50)
    is, for me, not that Nader is running,  speculation on why Nader is running, let alone speculation on his state of mind. All of which I could get worked up to comment on. Over a stiff drink. The important questions here have to do with who is supporting him.

    Ok, he's got some Rebublican money. Did I read here that he has received 250 contributions? Or 250 contributors? As I posted somewhere here, (I'm learning how best to contribute to the blog, which seems to involve taking notes and reading everything before posting) I imagine this is part of a strategy to sieze every opportunity to sow confusion.

    Someone else points out that he has support among Arab-Americans. Maybe they are otherwise Bush voters, maybe not.

    Earlier this morning, I read that young people are disproportionately supportive of Ralph Nader. That strikes me as pretty important.

    A friend writes: "A new Newsweek poll shows that Ralph Nader is drawing substantial numbers of young voters. Nader is drawing twice as many young voters in the 18 to 29 age group as he is in other age groups. He currently is polling 12% of the 18 to 29 vote which cuts so far into Kerry's numbers that it puts Bush ahead among the 18 to 29 year old vote."

    I note that the margin of error is 5.1%, so the numbers are 89.8% likely to accurately reflect the sentiments of larger numbers of people. Here's the link and first paragraph:

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040323/nytu110_1.html

    NEW YORK, March 23 PRNewswire -- Ralph Nader may have been abandoned by some of his celebrity backers, railed against in Democratic Party circles and skewered on late night TV, but the consumer advocate still packs a powerful punch with young voters.

    According to the latest Newsweek and Newsweek.com GENext poll, the feisty Nader, widely blamed for Al Gore's defeat in the 2000 election, drew twice the support among voters aged 18-29 as he did in a comparable poll of all registered voters. The groundswell of youth support could mean good news for Nader, and perhaps more significantly, for President George W. Bush.

    I tracked the article back to here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4569835/

    •  Finally (3.50)
      A voice of reason.  wells, take note.

      You'd have to be pretty damn disgusted and hopeless to vote for Nader this year.  And I say that as a two-time Nader voter, and a huge critic of John Forbes Kerry.

      So the correlation between young folks and Ralph Nader makes a lot of sense.  It's harder to see the big picture, to understand the political forces, and just to care about the future when you're college-age.  Remember?

      Not all of the "fight the power" energy was subsumed by Howard Dean's candidacy.  A lot of it, indeed, and it is to Dean's immense credit that he has fairly skillfully channeled that into support for the Democratic Party and for change from within.  But if you felt that way and didn't board the Dean train, where did you go?

      There are a lot of people out there who see JK as a corporate tool, a man with few principles, and just a boring old guy.  Some of these folks have the idea that Ralph is the only one telling the truth.  We may be able to ignore them completely and still win elections, but it didn't work last time.

      •  NO, no ... (none)
        ... don't ignore them, just tell them what a fool's errand Nader is on. Show them too. I always go to political events with my daughters, teaching and learning both. We had a great time at the Dean rally in the Fall.
      •  Voice of Reason (3.00)
        So I am unreasonable?  I'll vote for Greens.  I respect what Nader has done as a consumer advocate over his long career.  But his candidacy is empty.  Very true, Some see Kerry and the Democrats as a corporate tool not worthly of their vote.  But voting Nader is a support of the current system b/c you aren't influencing or attempting to change the system.  Election reform seems like the first obvious step for those that didn't board the Dean train and want reform.  But how do you get election reforms?  How do you change the two party system by standing on the outside of it with a sign that says "you guys suck?"  I think Greens, or Naderites can pick off state and local seats - where the majority of policy that affects you everyday starts.  That is where the change will come from.

        I remember many of the young Nader voters of 2000.  The repeated the mantra of "republicrats."  I didn't buy it then, and don't buy into it now.  I understood their desire to give the Greens 5% in hopes of recieving matching funds.  But Nader isn't running as a Green.  He isn't building a party.  I am thrilled that Dean tapped into the fight the power energy that many of us feel.  It went a long way, and all the free media helped send it out.  But I think you have a point about attracting younger voters which seem to be trending Republican more than usual.

        Kerry/Richardson'04

        by wells on Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 05:12:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Strategery (2.75)
          There are two approaches to reforming the Democratic Party.  One, work with and within the system, as Dean is doing.  Two, hold a gun to the head of the system, as Nader is doing.  You can argue about the effectiveness of either strategy, but I think it's wrong to say that Nader does not have one.

          Election reform seems like the first obvious step...

          Indeed.  Instant runoff voting is the single most important reform we can push.  It will remove the penalty for supporting a "fringe" candidate, and allow a real breadth of political opinion in America.  I harp on this so often to anyone who will listen at DFA that I'm sure they are sick of me.

          I remember many of the young Nader voters of 2000.  They repeated the mantra of "republicrats."  I didn't buy it then, and don't buy into it now.

          I live in a city where 19% of the people voted for Nader.  (You have two guesses which city.)  So I politely dispute your stereotyping of Nader voters.

          I think the argument that the Republicans and Democrats are not fundamentally different, especially with regards to their corporate sponsorship, still holds water, sadly.  That does not mean that we should not prefer Kerry over Bush, but that we should see Kerry as a stopgap solution.

          •  San Fran? (none)
            I am not going to disagree with you about corporate sponsorship.  But republicrat as a whole?  I am sorry, but there are differences in foreign policy, health care initives, judicial appointments, funding for social services and education (I have a family with many social workers and educators) and more.  There is a difference.  Sure, they aren't perfect, but republicrat is so....

            I didn't mean to sound like I was talking about all Nader voters.  I apologize.  I almost voted for him in 2000, but Bush/Cheney was just too scarey for me.  But honestly, many of the young voters I knew in 2000 really believed that there was no difference - whether if it was their first election and haven't paid attention to history or what Bush did in Texas - or whatever.  I have a young roommate that basically admitted as much.  Heck, another young person I know voted for Bush the first time and is now more liberal than I.  I know older Nader voters that I talk to, but they have a different perspective, and I am pretty sure if I didn't lived in Ohio instead of NYC they would vote for Kerry.  Anyway, sorry you felt sterotyped.

            It is nice to have a conversation with you.  I hope we can continue it.  Above you posted that you questioned Ralph's campaign - I would like to hear why.

            Cheers,
            Wells

            Kerry/Richardson'04

            by wells on Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 09:49:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Could easily be ... (none)
            ... Madison, WI, my home town. Probably 30% of my immediate neighbors voted for Nader (60% Gore, 5% Bush), it was terribly disheartening. There were many profiles and I got into furious arguments as well as some good discussions. My next door neighbor was a "f**k you" type, a defiant old drunk who got yard signs from both campaigns, defaced them all, and nailed "Gush-Bore" signs to the trees in his yard. Others were hard left sixty survivors and green kids from the university who colonized Nader's campaign here (ever hear of the International Socialists?).

              But most just pined for a more progressive political system and thought Nader might be a step in that direction. Mistakenly so in my opinion and (apparently) most of theirs.

    •  A note on margins of error and confidence levels (none)
      I note that the margin of error is 5.1%, so the numbers are 89.8% likely to accurately reflect the sentiments of larger numbers of people.

      Not exactly.  It means that there's a 95% confidence level that the true number is somewhere within the range of 5.1% less to 5.1% more than the reported number.

      Wisecracks and witticisms served fresh daily.

      by PeteyP on Sat Mar 27, 2004 at 11:19:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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