PRESS RELEASE from Nader for President 2008

August 22, 2008
News Advisory
Contact: (Washington) Toby Heaps, 202-471-5833,


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 months.

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 of choices.

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 Nader.

"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 Israelis.

"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."

Source URLs:

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: