portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

corporate dominance | government | media criticism selection 2004

Anti-Nader Site Ironically Proves Nader On Ballot HELPS Kerry in OR!

A nifty new interactive map put up by anti-Nader activists to "prove" that Nader is drawing more votes from Kerry than Bush actually "proves" just the opposite is true in Oregon. Nader has said all along this would probably start happening as election day draws near. But the real lesson is that dumbly comparing two-way-race and three-way-race poll data is no way to predict election outcomes, or to guide electoral strategy.
After all, what if the polls did three two-way races (Bush-Nader, Nader-Kerry, Bush-Kerry). What if they added the clause, "Pretend you have no way of knowing or predicting how others might vote." What if they listed ten main issue positions for each candidate -- or better yet, without identifying the candidates?

 http://www.theunitycampaign.org/battleground/

Click on the "Without Nader" button at the top right. Look at Oregon on the map. It's light blue, meaning slightly-Kerry-leaning. Move your mouse over OR on the map to see the stats:

Kerry 50
Bush 43

Now click the "With Nader" button at the top right. Oregon goes Dark Blue, meaning strongly Kerry-leaning. Roll over and see the result:

Kerry 50
Bush 42
Nader 4

If you are genuinely devoted to the ABB line as a matter of pragmatic principle, and not just an anti-Nader bigot, you should charge out this minute and start gathering signatures to put Nader/Camejo on the ballot in Oregon!

To see that electoral behavioral down in the 1% range is far more complex and hard to analyze or predict than ABB and anti-Nader activists would have us think, look at the 2000 exit poll from Florida at the MSNBC site, see the 25th question (unfortunately they're not numbered -- hit CTRL-F or Edit->Find and search for "If these were the only two").
 http://www.msnbc.com/m/d2k/g/polls.asp?office=P&state=FL

It shows that if Gore and Bush were the only candidates on the ballot in 2000 in Florida, Bush wins 49 to 47 over Gore. That's right. And it's not because of Buchanan being out. Nader got 97,000 votes. Buchanan and all other candidates got only 40,000 total. And the data shows that Bush gets none of the Buchanan voters, but gets half the Nader voters. 250,000 Florida Dems actually voted for Bush. Maybe they wanted Clinton impeached, and felt Gore should not have defended Clinton. The fact is, people vote in complex ways.

So why would Gore actually LOSE ground to Bush with Nader out? Most likely explanation is that many Gore voters would have stayed home if Nader had not woken them from their political slumbers. The numbers make it pretty clear. The poll shows that 2% of voters would not have voted -- between 1.5% and 2.5%, that is. Nader got 1.4% and other minor candidates got .6%, equals 2.0%. But 1% of 47% of respondents who say they would have voted for Gore in a two-way contest with Bush, actually voted for Nader -- equals something between .24% and .73% of all voters who would have switched from Nader to Gore rather than stay home. Same range, .24% to .73% would have switched from Nader to Bush rather than stay home. So .48% to 1.46% of all voters voted for Nader and would have voted for Bush or Gore in a two-way contest, rather than stay home. That leaves at most 1% of voters who voted Nader and would not have voted in a Bush-Gore-only match. But remember there are 2% (btw 1.5% and 2.5%) who would not have voted at all in a Bush-Gore-only matchy. Thus between .5% and 1.5% of all voters didn't vote Nader, but would not have voted for either Bush or Gore either if they had been the only choices. The exit poll clearly shows Gore losing votes without Nader in, so some Gore voters are likely among that .5% and 1.5% who said they would not have voted at all if Nader had not been in the race. One of Nader's slogans is: "If you don't turn on to politics, politics will turn on you." Apparently he managed to turn on enough Gore voters in Florida in 2000 to hand Gore a victory, and the Presidency. Too bad Gore and the DNC/DLC chose not to fight all-out to keep that victory in court and in the streets.

But there's more curious information in that exit poll question's data. The actual vote was Bush 48 Gore 48 Nader 1.4%, and the numbers show that some voters actually said they would have switched from Gore to Bush if Nader were not in, and about the same amount from Bush to Gore. Why? Here's my guess -- I remember a poll once that showed a high percentage of voters likes to have the President from one major party and Congress from the other major party. Stands to reason that for a sliver of the electorate, this is their main voting strategy. Without Nader, some figured the Dems would do worse down the ticket than with Nader (as was the case with Maria Cantwell who, as even Terry McAuliffe has acknowledged in the face of hard data, was handed her victory by Nader voters who would have stayed home if Nader were not on the ballot), so they vote for Bush to balance what they expect to be a Democrat-controlled Senate and/or House. But others figure (wrongly) that Nader's absence will help the Dems down-ticket so they switch their vote from Bush to Gore to balance what they expect to be continued Republican control of Congress. What other explanation could there be for people saying they would have changed their vote from Bush to Gore or vice versa if Nader were'nt in the race? But that's exactly what about a hundred Florida voters said in that exit poll, which sampled ten thousand voters.

The moral of the story is this: over-simplified thinking about the voting behavior of 1% slivers of the electorate is NOT strategic thinking. Nader launched his campaign this year encouraging all voters and major party leaders to analyze the 2000 election data "like a sports fan," meaning really crunch and squeeze the data for detail.

And in the end, the only thing we accomplish by refusing to put Nader on the ballot in Oregon is to guarantee that the "swing" voters will have a less-informed choice. Their deliberations will be just as convoluted and unpredictable as they always have been, but they will have a narrower range of issues and viewpoints to consider.

Suppose you refuse to sign a Nader petition, either because you support Kerry and think doing so will hurt Kerry's "chances" or because you support Bush and think doing so will hurt Bush's "chances" (as the anti-Nader site cited above ironically "proves"). Then you've just removed a reference point by which voters can guage their choices. That will have an unpredictable effect on whether Oregon goes to Kerry or Bush. But it will have a very predictably NEGATIVE effect on the degree to which our democracy progresses toward a government run with the fully INFORMED consent of the governed, as you will have helped drown out not just another voice, but the most consistently reliable and powerful voice of the past half-decade calling FOR fully informed consent of the governed in all matters that pertain to our daily lives, labors and pursuits.
Phony data; phony analysis 23.Aug.2004 16:47

Paul Doyle gwanorth@aol.com

In the name of full disclosure, let me say I do work for John Kerry. (Formerly worked for Howard Dean). I am a pollster. I also was one of the first Green Party organizers in the US in New Haven Ct.
and am curently a city councilor (and a green party one at that).

Your numbers about florida are wrong. Your analysis is bizarre. And your reasoning that follows is obscure.

Need Isay more.

Paul

of course not 23.Aug.2004 17:00

pro-democracy

"Need Isay more."

You don't need to say anything more, so long as you're not worried about people laughing at your evidence lacking critique. Now if you actually wanted to convince people, that might take a little bit more effort than just saying "you're wrong."

not to be redundant 23.Aug.2004 17:04

strategist

Without Nader Gore would have lost the 2000 election. Likewise, it is Nader that is helping motivate the Kerry supporters. I don't understand why Bush wasn't and isn't enough motivation in 2000 or 2004 but the reality speaks for itself. Of course, one could argue that Gore could have won by a much larger margin if his campaign had shifted resources from attacking Nader to attacking Bush. In 2004 the same can be argued for Kerry, though that money could also be spent of making sure there are verifiable and fair elections (which doesn't seem to interest the democrats too much). I suppose they want to plan their blame game for when they lose, and the republicans will be only to happy to shift votes from Kerry to 3rd party candidates like Nader, as they did in 2002 and 2000.

If the Kerry supporters want to win:

1. Spend money promoting Kerry and attacking Bush and to ensure a fair election instead of wasting money in a costly, pointless anti-Nader campaign. The anti-Nader campaign is basically spending money to push people away from the Democratic Party. That money could best be spent elsewhere as it is not effective in doing what it purports, to convince people to vote for Kerry instead of Nader.

2. Focus on the few actual differences between Bush and Kerry. Frame the election as a religious fundamentalist versus a religious moderate. Concentrate on Kerry's reluctance to use nuclear weapons versus Bush's casualness with their use.

3. Bush is not able to handle pressure so keep it on him. Don't shift it and don't be distracted. Let Bush know how unpopular he is and eventually he will do himself in. At the RNC he will probably have to be heavily medicated.

4. Find out what voting machines are used in your district, whether there will be a paper trail, and what the procedure is to request an audit or a recount. If there is no paper trail the election will be unverifiable, start hypothesizing and talking to lawyers about what that could mean in your state.

That's all you need to win. What you choose to do with this information is your business.

Paul Doyle DEMOCRAT 23.Aug.2004 22:52

GreenPartyMike

Just did a little background check on Paul Doyle, our "green" city councilperson and backer of Kerry. Seems that Paul Doyle phone # (860)257-7952 email address  Paul.Doyle@po.state.ct.us is actually a Democrat.

Now I know you all may find this hard to believe but there are Democratic Politicians who *ahem cough* ..... FUCKING LIE.

Sorry Paul, you have been outed there old boy. Ya lying fuck.

Say No to the Kerry/Bush War in Iraq. Being fought for corporate profits. Free cans of Heinz beans being provided to all democrats who troll, pose as Greens and lie for Kerry.

Now about thae real anti-war candidate David Cobb. Free corn on the Cobb fer his supporters perhaps? Oh wait, David and the Greens do not have the corporate money like Kerry/Bush does. Or the backing of a completly discreited corporate media.

Coincidence? I think not.

another state: Iowa 24.Aug.2004 02:50

Dance

According to the map at the link, Bush and Kerry are tied at 47% without Nader, tied at 46% with Nader.

I don't think there's clear evidence that Nader voters would vote for Kerry more than Bush. But there IS evidence that both parties have a stake in making us believe (and perhaps even believing themselves) that Nader would be "a spoiler" (ultimately, they mean, "a spoiler of the two-party system".)

I was told yesterday by a Nader petitioner that in Illinois, the state legislature (including the Democrats, who I believe control it) voted to put W. Bush on the ballot because, otherwise, he wouldn't get on because the Republicans are having their national convention too late for him to qualify in Illinois by the usual schedule and procedure. Meanwhile, the Democrats are using every trick in the book to keep Nader off the ballot - the voters be damned.

Nader pulling more from Bush than Kerry in Florida and Nationwide 25.Aug.2004 18:35

IMPEACH BUSH NOW!

Here is some more of what phony Paul Doyle calls "phony data, phony analysis":

 http://www.usatoday.com/news/polls/tables/live/2004-08-23-florida-poll.htm

Look at question 2 -- first it gives the Florida results, then the National:

2. (Asked of Nader voters) If Ralph Nader is not on the ballot in your state on Election Day, would you vote for Kerry and Edwards, the Democrats, or Bush and Cheney, the Republicans?
Kerry/ Edwards Bush/ Cheney Neither/other/ no opinion
Likely Voters
2004 Aug 20-22 47 48 5
2004 Jul 19-22 47 50 3
Registered Voters
2004 Aug 20-22 46 46 8
2004 Jul 19-22 45 49 6

National Results
Kerry/ Edwards Bush/ Cheney Neither/other/ no opinion
Likely Voters
2004 Aug 9-11 47 50 3
Registered Voters
2004 Aug 9-11 47 48 5

First of all, take note that Nader voters like to vote. Hardly any would stay home if Nader isn't on the ballot. It's Democrats who toss up their hands and say, "I'm not gonna bother voting, what difference does it make?" Not Nader voters, even if our candidate is forced off the ballot by dirty tricks, threats and intimidation, the data shows you that overwhelmingly we will still show up at the polls, and still vote, and still choose "the lesser of two evils" which, apparently, is Bush according to the current consensus shown in the three polls cited above. And if the Democrats' sheer stupidity and utter lack of will to actually win what should be a cake-walk of an election for them is any factor, I'm inclined to agree. Vote Bush in, then the Dems will have NO excuse to put off IMPEACHING HIM!!!!!

Second, yes, look at the numbers, and look at them again. There are three different polls represented here. One in Florida before the Democratic National Convention, one in Florida just this past weekend, and one National about two weeks ago. Nader voters who are likely voters would vote more for Bush than for Kerry in all three polls. Nader voters who are registered voters would vote more for Bush than for Kerry nationally, and in the pre-DNC Florida poll. In the post-DNC Florida poll, they would vote evenly for Bush and Kerry.

Three polls, six demographics, Florida and nationwide, pre-DNC July to post-DNC/pre-RNC August. Not an iota of evidence that blocking ballot access for Nader would help ANYBODY BUT BUSH. Undisputably solid evidence to the contrary.

Now, if the USA Today knows this, why doesn't the $175,000,000 Kerry campaign?????? Don't these guys do intensive state-by-state and district-by-district internal tracking polls that they never publish? I think the answer's pretty clear. They do know. So why are they spending thousands and thousands of volunteer hours and slews of hot-shot lawyer teams to comb through every line of every page of every Nader petition sheet in most every state, including non-swing states? More of my "phony analysis" on that question in another post.

Hey, pollster 25.Aug.2004 19:09

jeff

paul doyle,

So, you're a pollster. Do you not fail to see the irony that it's Democrats using what you call "PHONEY DATA" in order to back their own anti-Nader claims?
Did you even read the posting?
Or is data simply "phoney" when it does not suit the Democratic Party's needs -- and "not-phoney" when it "works right" on their anti-nader site or something?
If the site is using the data as their "evidence", then surely a person can use this same evidence in argumentation to refute the claims of the site.
But if it is all true what you say and the data is "phoney" then why are democrats using phoney data? Are they lying, in general?
Democrats like to have their cake and eat it too. Just like how Kerry tries to act like he is both for the war and against it at the same time. Either way, someone is always getting screwed. That's why I don't trust democrats.

There is no Nader factor ... 27.Aug.2004 20:22

politizine politizine@yahoo.com

First, Nader didn't cost Gore the presidency. I have done an extensive study of the exit polls from 2000 that show this here: Debunking the Myth:  http://debunkingthemyth.blogspot.com/

Second, I have totally proven The Unity Campaign folks wrong on a number of posts. There is no Nader factor:
Here:  http://politizine.blogspot.com/2004/05/special-report-anti-nader-study-falls.html
Here:  http://politizine.blogspot.com/2004/07/non-nader-factor-back-in-may-of-this.html
Here:  http://politizine.blogspot.com/2004/08/falsely-attacking-ralph-nader-it-is.html
And here:  http://politizine.blogspot.com/2004/08/kerry-leads-shift-its-been-10-days.html

Spread the truth far and wide.

Tony