FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (Washington) Toby Heaps, 202-471-5833, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NADER EFFECT ON
OBAMA/MCCAIN FLIES IN THE FACE OF CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Ralph Nader's presence on the ballot
in 2008 actually helps Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama,
according to at least five national polls conducted over the past three
In each of these polls, Obama's spread over Republican Candidate John
McCain widened by an average of more than 3 percent when Nader and
Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr were included on the menu
By conventional wisdom, this would make sense if Barr did better than
Nader in these polls, but that was not the case. Nader was ahead of
Barr in four of the polls and tied in the other. On average, Nader
polled 2 percent higher than Barr.
The two strongest explanations for why Nader helps Obama are:
Obama's Intensity of Support
Obama's supporters are more loyal than McCain's. In the most recent
NBC/WSJ Poll, only 5 percent of his supporters jump ship when the poll
question is opened up to four choices (Nader/Barr/McCain/Obama),
whereas 10 percent of McCain's do.
The Hillary Voter Factor
Many Hillary supporters (half according to the most recent NBC/WSJ
poll) do not want to vote for Obama. With Nader on the ballot, they
have another choice to lodge their vote with other than McCain.
"All of this underscores the fallacy of considering third party and
independent candidates only so far as they affect the two-major party
horse race. The truth is elections, especially one as volatile as 2008,
are decided upon by thousands of variables that can cut both ways.
Nobody's entitled to votes. However, they are entitled to a level
playing field which does not exist today for third party and
independent candidates," said independent candidate for President Ralph
"We all have to earn our votes, and in this volatile election year,
that is as true as ever," Nader added.
One of Obama's key advantages over McCain at this point has been the
intensity of his supporters' loyalty.
Obama will have a difficult time maintaining this loyalty if he
continues to take positions so at odds with the Democratic Party
grassroots that agree with Nader/Gonzalez on dozens of issues.
Obama has sold progressives up the river on many issues including:
caving on single payer health care for all, the wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq and potentially Iran, expanding the military budget, opening the
door to offshore drilling, voting for the snoop bill FISA and The
Patriot Act, and supporting the death penalty, corporate tax cuts,
wasteful corn ethanol, nuclear power, NAFTA and hardline-militarist
"Next week at the Democratic Party Convention, Obama has a chance to
reverse course from his many corporatist and militarist concessions,
since he clinched the nomination," Nader said.
"If he doesn't, the converging forces of liberal Republicans and some
progressive Democrats that are presently considering Obama will have
good reason to jump ship for Nader/Gonzalez."
About Ralph Nader
Attorney, author, and consumer advocate Ralph Nader has been named by
Time Magazine one of the "100 Most Influential Americans in the 20th
Century." For more than four decades he has exposed problems and
organized millions of citizens into more than 100 public interest
groups advocating solutions. He led the movement to establish the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and
was instrumental in enacting the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Motor
Vehicle Safety Act, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and countless
other pieces of important consumer legislation. Because of Ralph Nader
we drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink
cleaner water, and work in safer environments. Nader graduated from
Princeton University and received an LL.B from Harvard Law School.
About Matt Gonzalez
Matt Gonzalez was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in
2000 representing San Francisco's fifth council district. From 2003 to
2005, he served as Board of Supervisors President. A former public
defender, Gonzalez is managing partner of Gonzalez & Leigh, a
7-attorney practice in San Francisco that represents individuals and
organizations in mediation, arbitration, and administrative proceedings
before state and federal regulatory bodies. Gonzalez graduated from
Columbia University and received a JD from Stanford Law School.
About the Nader/Gonzalez Campaign
According to a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted from July
27-29, Ralph Nader is at 6 percent nationally (equivalent to about 10
million eligible voters), higher than his highest major poll numbers
during the same time period in 2000 and approaching the 10 percent
threshold required for eligibility to participate in "America's
Presidential Debate in New Orleans," a Google-sponsored event scheduled
for September 18. In the key swing state of Michigan -- whose
Democratic voters were partially disenfranchised by the Democratic
National Committee -- an EPIC-MRA poll found Nader at 8-10 percent.
For more information on the Nader/Gonzalez campaign, visit: votenader.org.