Debunked: The Myth That Ralph Nader Cost Al Gore the 2000 Election

Photo: Don LaVange (CC)

Photo: Don LaVange (CC)

Matthew Jones of USC’s Political Science Department says:

It’s really difficult to make the argument that Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the 2000 election, for multiple reasons. There were only 560 votes separating George Bush from Al Gore. That’s essentially within every margin of error, which when it gets within the margin of error, means that there’s too many other factors that could have affected it to say with any confidence what caused Al Gore to lose and George Bush to win.

Every 3rd party candidate got over 600 votes, which means that if any one of those 3rd party candidates had potentially dropped out and those votes had gone to Al Gore, he would have won too. So once you start to make those arguments, you open up a can of worms that you just cannot put back. Almost half of the Democratic Party voters stayed home, so who’s to say that the people who voted for Ralph Nader, if they didn’t have the choice of Ralph Nader, wouldn’t have stayed home or voted for somebody else anyway?

In a 2004 article Tony Schinella broke down a lot of polling numbers (including those in states other than Florida, who also had an impact on the election) and pointed out that more registered Democrats voted for Bush than voted for Nader:

In Florida, CNN’s exit polling showed Nader taking the same amount of votes from both Republicans and Democrats: 1 percent. Nader also took 4 percent of the independent vote. At the same time, 13 percent of registered Democrats voted for Bush! Again, Gore couldn’t hold his own base and because of this, he lost. The Democrats don’t say one word about the fact that 13 percent of their own party members voted forBush.

On the ideological front, 3 percent of Nader’s vote identified themselves as “liberal,” while 2 percent called themselves “moderate” and 1 percent called themselves “conservatives.” An even split: 6 to 6.

When asked who they voted for in 1996, 1 percent of Nader’s voters said they voted for Bill Clinton, 1 percent said they voted for Bob Dole, and 10 percent said they voted for Ross Perot. Here is the chart:

1996——All—-Gore—-Bush—-Buchanan—-Nader
Clinton—-46——82——-16———0————-1
Dole——-30——–4——-93———0————-1
Perot——–7——23——-65———1———–10
No vote—12——50——-44———0————-7

Again, Perot voters trend conservative. In fact, by a 3 to 1 margin, Perot voters in Florida went with Bush. So, with Nader taking equally from voters who cast votes for Clinton as they did from Dole, and then 10 percent previously voting for Perot being split on a 3 to 1 margin to Bush, that shows that if Nader had not been in the race, the majority of those voters would have gone to Bush, by a 7 to 4 margin. Also note: 16 percent of Clinton’s vote went to Bush! Again, Gore couldn’t hold the previous administration’s support.

In a two-way race, CNN showed the results as Bush 49 percent, Gore 47 percent, with 2 percent not voting. And again, with no Buchanan, Bush gains thousands of votes. So, an even split of Nader voters offers no resolve to the matter of the state being thrown to the Supreme Court, with or without Nader.

Now, if you use the national exit polling data, yes, Gore wins handily. But it just doesn’t work that way. Each state is different. Both New Hampshire and Florida have large sections of independents who are conservative but not Bush conservatives. Many of them might vote for Nader but wouldn’t vote for Gore. Both New Hampshire and Florida are not like Oregon and Wisconsin. From personal experience, having lived in this state off and on for most of my life, I can tell you that independent voters in New Hampshire swing conservative. They might throw votes to Clinton; they might throw votes to Nader; but that doesn’t mean they would go to Gore.

On the flip side, Florida is different. There is no doubt in my mind that 600 or more Nader voters from Monroe or Gainesville counties could have gone to Gore. These two counties have pockets of liberals – environmentalists in Monroe County, around the Everglades, and thousands of college students at University of Florida in Gainesville. According to the New York Times, which had a green map of Florida right after the election, Nader’s strongest support was in those two counties. But the numbers from CNN don’t show this at all so …
Then again, as talked about in this great article by Jim DeFede, then with the Miami New Times, there was a lot of animosity for centrist Democrats and Gore in Monroe County over the Homestead Air Force base conversion to a multi-use airport: [“Collision Course”]. Again, when the Democrats abandon their base – in this case, liberals and environmentalists – they lose, especially when voters have other choices.

And as Schinella points out, the Supreme Court was who actually handed to election to Bush.  Attorney Joseph C. Sommer writes:

The Florida Supreme Court issued its decision at about 4:00 in the afternoon of Friday, December 8. The statewide counting of the undervotes began shortly thereafter and was proceeding smoothly and rapidly, with votes being recorded for both Gore and Bush. The process was expected to be completed sometime on Sunday afternoon, December 10.

But at 2:40 PM on Saturday, December 9, five conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a halt to the counting at the request of Bush’s legal team. Antonin Scalia, in a concurring opinion, wrote that the counting threatened irreparable harm to Bush “by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election.” Subsequent to the stay, no votes were ever again officially counted in the Florida presidential election.

On Tuesday, December 12, the same five justices held that the decision of the Florida Supreme Court violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. In general, the Equal Protection Clause requires that persons in similar circumstances be treated equally by the laws.

The majority said the standard announced by the Florida Supreme Court for counting the undervotes – namely, a vote should be counted if there is “clear indication of the intent of the voter” – violated equal protection. The court claimed that because different Florida counties might apply different standards of what constitutes clear intent of the voter, identical ballots might not be counted the same way.

According to the majority, such an outcome was constitutionally impermissible. They said the Florida Supreme Court should have articulated a more uniform standard for counting the undervotes.

Additionally, the five conservatives ruled that December 12 was the legal deadline for Florida’s presidential votes to be counted. Because this was the same date as their decision, they concluded there was no time to send the case back to the Florida court for a more uniform standard to be set and the counting to resume.

The upshot of their actions was that Bush was declared the election’s winner even though thousands of valid votes had not been counted.

He then goes on to list eight reasons why the Supreme Court’s decision was illegal, all of which can be read here.

Finally, basic mathematics tells us that when someone pulled the lever for Nader in 2000, Bush’s tally did not rise by one singe vote and Gore’s tally did not decrease by one single vote.

Unless the voting machines were even more hackable than has already been demonstratedAlastair Thompson wrote in 2003:

Searches of the Diebold memos database find a single followup memo from McLaurin about the Checksum Errors experienced in Volusia, but nothing on the mysterious 16,022 negative vote count.

Which leaves us where exactly?

What we know from the memos can be summarised as follows:

  • Two memory cards were uploaded from Volusia Couny’s precinct 216, the second one was loaded sometime close to 2am in the morning. It automatically replaced the first card’s results and reduced Gore’s total by 16,022 votes and added several thousand votes to Bush plus a variety of minor candidates;
  • Both memory cards loaded into the system clean and without errors, indicating (contrary to the official line) that they were not faulty;
  • After the error was noticed the original card was reloaded and the mistake was rectified;
  • The error was introduced in such a way that the total number of votes remained unchanged (again something that could not happen by chance.);
  • According to the technical boffins, the chance of the memory card being corrupted and still passing the checksum error test are less than 60,000 to 1;
  • The technical managers at Diebold Election Systems considered it a reasonable possibility that the second card was part of deliberate conspiracy to rig the election results.

In her book Bev Harris explains the issue of whether the card was a chance fault or a deliberate example of tampering”

“A memory card is like floppy disk. If you have worked with computers for any length of time you will know that a disk can go bad. When it does, which of the following is most likely? In an Excel spreadsheet that you saved on a “bad disk,” might it read a column of numbers correct the first time: “1005, 2109, 3000, 450…” but the second time, replace the numbers like this: “1005, 2109, -16022, 450…” Or is it more likely that the “bad disk” will…fail to read the file at all, crash your computer, give you an error message, or make weird humming and whirring noises.”source: page 239, Chapter 11, “Black Box Voting in the 21st Century”

However officially, as we learned earlier, the explanation given publicly – and accepted without demur by the media – for the strange events in Volusia county is that there was simply a “faulty memory card”.

The “faulty memory card” explanation is also included in a CBS News Network investigation into the Election 2000 debacle.

And it is here that we find a considerable amount of information about just how significant the Volusia County events were on election night.

The first thing we learn from CBS’s investigation into the events of election night is that according to the Voter News Service (VNS) exit polls for Florida Al Gore should have won comfortably.

7:00 PM: The vast majority of Florida polls close. CBS News decides not to project a winner in the Florida Presidential race at poll closing, even though the best estimate, based upon exit-poll interviews from the 45 survey precincts, shows Gore leading Bush by 6.6 points. The Decision Desk decides to wait for some actual votes from sample precincts to confirm the exit-poll results.7:40 PM: The VNS computation shows a “call” status in the Florida Presidential race. This status means that statistically Gore is leading, but the Decision Team needs to check more data.

Source

VNS eventually officially called the Florida race to Gore at 7.52pm, notwithstanding comments early in the vote count from George Bush that he was confident he would win both Florida and Pennsylvannia (comments which were never fully explained).

With the benefit of hindsight we think we now know that the VNS data was wrong. That is certainly what the CBS inquiry found.

In the report attached below there are a range of explanations for this given [click here to view], none of them adequately explain the magnitude of the error however.

Most of the news networks followed the VNS call giving Florida to Gore. And by 8.02pm all networks had announced Gore as the winner in Florida. And it wasn’t till 9pm that some doubts about this call started to emerge.

First up a significant error – attributed to a typing mistake – was found in the VNS data at 9.07pm. This led to closer examination of the rest of the data and the incoming returns. By around 10pm the Florida calls to Gore were all officially withdrawn. This is recorded in the CBS report as follows:

9:54 PM: The CBS News Decision Desk recommends that the call in Florida for Gore be withdrawn. CBS is in a local cutaway at 9:54 PM (the seven minutes at the end of the hour when local stations broadcast their own election results), and so CBS does not withdraw the call until 10:00 PM.10:16 PM: VNS retracts its Florida call for Gore.

– Source

The CBS timeline then jumps forward four hours to 2am EST.

By now an apparently substantial lead of 29,000 votes has opened up in favour of George Bush.

2:09 AM: VNS adds Volusia County’s erroneous numbers to its tabulated vote. With 171 out of 172 precincts in the county reporting, Gore’s vote drops by more than 10,000 while Bush’s rises by almost the same amount. This 20,000-vote change in one county increases Bush’s VNS statewide lead to more than 51,000 votes. – Source

What the news networks, and the Al Gore, camp do not realise at this point in the evening is that over 24,000 of votes that make up this significant lead are attributable to two Diebold Election Systems computer errors.

First there are the 16,022 votes stolen from Gore in Volusia county by the “faulty memory card”. Meanwhile over in Brevard County another error – also involving Global Elections System (the predecessor of Diebold) equipment is responsible for a further 4000 votes being lopped off the Gore total.

And it is also worth noting that nobody knows whether the Brevard and Volusia county errors were the only ones in play at this time. These errors were both big ones. They were noticed and corrected on the night. How many smaller vote subtractions could have taken place on the night? Theoretically hundreds. As Dana Milbank’s Washington Post report shows it was only because someone noticed the error in Volusia that it was corrected and remarkably the software itself contains no automatic system for rejecting negative vote totals being reported by precincts, events which by definition can only be nefarious and wrong.

So, why do Democrats continue to focus blame Nader and the Greens?  It’s certainly easier to vent one’s frustrations upon someone weaker than you than it is to confront powerful, corrupt institutions and a dysfunctional system.  And it’s even more attractive if one is part of that system, and if the weaker party could conceivably become a threat to one’s own power some day.

The Florida Supreme Court’s orders

Under Florida law, when a state court finds that a challenge to the certification of an election is justified, the court has power to “provide any relief appropriate under the circumstances.” The law also is clear that ascertaining “the will of the people,” as expressed by the ballots cast, is the guiding principle in determining the relief to be granted.

Accordingly, the Florida Supreme Court ordered on Friday, December 8, 2000 that in each county of the state, any necessary hand counts be done on the undervotes that had not been manually counted. In Miami-Dade County alone, the ruling applied to some 9,000 undervotes needing to be examined for the first time.

Bush was leading Gore by 154 votes, and the court found there was no doubt that enough legal votes were contained in the undervotes to put the outcome of the election in question. The court further explained: “We must do everything required by law to ensure that legal votes that have not been counted are included in the final election results.”

Additionally, having been warned on December 4 by the U.S. Supreme Court to not make any changes in the law, the Florida Supreme Court directed that a vote be considered valid if there is “clear indication of the intent of the voter.” This standard comes straight from the Florida Election Code. The same standard was applied in prior election cases by Florida courts, has been used in numerous other states for many years, and had never previously been challenged.

In a clarifying opinion provided to the U.S. Supreme Court on December 11, the Florida Supreme Court explained that its decisions had formulated “no new rules of state law” and had simply construed Florida laws “enacted long before the present election took place.” The court said it had interpreted “legislative intent as informed by the traditional sources and rules of construction we have long accepted as relevant in determining such intent.”

An examination of the Florida Supreme Court’s rulings supports those assertions entirely. The court was faced with several vague and contradictory election laws, due to amendments made to the Florida Election Code over the years. In construing the laws, the court reasonably applied rules of statutory construction used by all courts in such situations. Not even a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court found a problem with the Florida court’s interpretation of the laws.

In fact, the Florida Supreme Court’s actions were consistent with prior legal interpretations issued in Florida cases for some 75 years – interpretations never overridden by the Florida legislature. The court’s orders also accorded with the manner in which disputed elections are commonly decided in other states. For example, when George W. Bush was governor of Texas, he signed a law providing for manual recounts. The law says a manual recount “shall be considered in preference to an electronic recount.”

Moreover, in two of its decisions on other matters concerning the election, the Florida Supreme Court had ruled against Gore’s side. In one, the court declined Gore’s request for an order requiring Miami-Dade County to resume a hand-count of ballots during the “protest” phase of the recount proceedings (i.e., during the earlier phase in which county officials, rather than the courts, had primary responsibility over the proceedings). In the other, the court refused a petition for a revote brought by Palm Beach County residents who claimed that the county’s confusing “butterfly ballot” – which surely cost Gore thousands of votes – didn’t comply with state law. A pro-Gore decision on either of those matters would have likely resulted in his election.

Former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, in his book The Betrayal of America, sums up that “there is no evidence that the Florida Supreme Court based its decisions on anything but solid and enduring legal principles.” He also says the “Florida Supreme Court did nothing at all from which any rational inference of a political motivation could be inferred.”

In regard to the Florida Supreme Court’s actions, the crux of the matter is that an election is not stolen by requiring all the votes to be counted in a way that votes have been counted since the country’s inception.

The U.S. Supreme Court intervenes

The Florida Supreme Court issued its decision at about 4:00 in the afternoon of Friday, December 8. The statewide counting of the undervotes began shortly thereafter and was proceeding smoothly and rapidly, with votes being recorded for both Gore and Bush. The process was expected to be completed sometime on Sunday afternoon, December 10.

But at 2:40 PM on Saturday, December 9, five conservative members of the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a halt to the counting at the request of Bush’s legal team. Antonin Scalia, in a concurring opinion, wrote that the counting threatened irreparable harm to Bush “by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election.” Subsequent to the stay, no votes were ever again officially counted in the Florida presidential election.

On Tuesday, December 12, the same five justices held that the decision of the Florida Supreme Court violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. In general, the Equal Protection Clause requires that persons in similar circumstances be treated equally by the laws.

The majority said the standard announced by the Florida Supreme Court for counting the undervotes – namely, a vote should be counted if there is “clear indication of the intent of the voter” – violated equal protection. The court claimed that because different Florida counties might apply different standards of what constitutes clear intent of the voter, identical ballots might not be counted the same way.

According to the majority, such an outcome was constitutionally impermissible. They said the Florida Supreme Court should have articulated a more uniform standard for counting the undervotes.

Additionally, the five conservatives ruled that December 12 was the legal deadline for Florida’s presidential votes to be counted. Because this was the same date as their decision, they concluded there was no time to send the case back to the Florida court for a more uniform standard to be set and the counting to resume.

The upshot of their actions was that Bush was declared the election’s winner even though thousands of valid votes had not been counted.

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well…this is a little late. I wonder what the merits are for bringing this back up. I agree completely though. Gore lost because he was, and is, ManBearPig. No one wanted him all that badly, his only virtue was having served as Veep for 8 years…silently for the most part…while Clinton did his song and dance routine and devalued the Dems currency by co-opting half the GOPs platform.

    Nader would have been very hard pressed to make Al Gore suck worse in the public eye than Al Gore made himself suck. Not to mention, when it comes to reasons for a lack of enthusiasm lingering in the minds of liberals and Dems, throw in having a batshit wacky wife with a merry band of Jesus Crispie Fried pals that paraded through DC to stop the perils of porn-rock…and managed to waste tax dollars while they did it “foooor theeee chiiiilllldreeeen!!!”

    A lot of us never forgot that special parade of retarded Stepford whores that got slammed into submission by Frank Zappa…but we all still had to live with self policed album censorship from within the industry that cropped as a compromise to keep Congress from breathing down their necks. If Al had had the cajones to slam a bootheel on his psychoskanks throat to shut her up…we might…just might…have trusted that he had the brains to be the Prez. But he didn’t even have that…he facilitated her…which damned him in the eyes of all who had a shred of sanity left.

    When the bloodletting was over and the screaming Bush goons in suits and ties, fresh from the GOP offices, had finished their impromptu staged riots to prevent timely recounts and any finding of the bagloads of cards from Dem precincts that had been hauled away and dumped uncounted..someone had to point the finger of failure somewhere…and like Hillary fans bitter over the Obama win…they turned on the left and called them traitors for voting left…instead of voting status quo Dem.

    Oh no…they couldn’t be bothered to consider that, just perhaps, it was the total failure of the status quo to really change the game after 8 years that damaged the image of Gore and the DNC and lost the election. No…it was that awful Nader and the evil lefties who actually voted for something other than business as usual. Mostly a pathetic attempt to prevent future third party antics…which drove the real left away for good. Alas…if only the rest of the DNC would suddenly wake up and say “Hmm…decade after decade of the same old talk…and no action…forget this! I’m joining a party that A)talks the talk and B)walks the walk.”

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well…this is a little late. I wonder what the merits are for bringing this back up. I agree completely though. Gore lost because he was, and is, ManBearPig. No one wanted him all that badly, his only virtue was having served as Veep for 8 years…silently for the most part…while Clinton did his song and dance routine and devalued the Dems currency by co-opting half the GOPs platform.

    Nader would have been very hard pressed to make Al Gore suck worse in the public eye than Al Gore made himself suck. Not to mention, when it comes to reasons for a lack of enthusiasm lingering in the minds of liberals and Dems, throw in having a batshit wacky wife with a merry band of Jesus Crispie Fried pals that paraded through DC to stop the perils of porn-rock…and managed to waste tax dollars while they did it “foooor theeee chiiiilllldreeeen!!!”

    A lot of us never forgot that special parade of retarded Stepford whores that got slammed into submission by Frank Zappa…but we all still had to live with self policed album censorship from within the industry that cropped as a compromise to keep Congress from breathing down their necks. If Al had had the cajones to slam a bootheel on his psychoskanks throat to shut her up…we might…just might…have trusted that he had the brains to be the Prez. But he didn’t even have that…he facilitated her…which damned him in the eyes of all who had a shred of sanity left.

    When the bloodletting was over and the screaming Bush goons in suits and ties, fresh from the GOP offices, had finished their impromptu staged riots to prevent timely recounts and any finding of the bagloads of cards from Dem precincts that had been hauled away and dumped uncounted..someone had to point the finger of failure somewhere…and like Hillary fans bitter over the Obama win…they turned on the left and called them traitors for voting left…instead of voting status quo Dem.

    Oh no…they couldn’t be bothered to consider that, just perhaps, it was the total failure of the status quo to really change the game after 8 years that damaged the image of Gore and the DNC and lost the election. No…it was that awful Nader and the evil lefties who actually voted for something other than business as usual. Mostly a pathetic attempt to prevent future third party antics…which drove the real left away for good. Alas…if only the rest of the DNC would suddenly wake up and say “Hmm…decade after decade of the same old talk…and no action…forget this! I’m joining a party that A)talks the talk and B)walks the walk.”

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

      The merits is basically so some of us can be educated as to things we never knew before.

      I automatically assumed that Reform was right of Republican, and Green was left of Democrat. Easy calculation, especially when you remember that New Hampshire also went Republican that election, and the Gore/Nader count was greater than Bush/Buchanan count. That the average Naderite might just be a 3rd party voter (instead of left-of-Democrat voter) is something I never heard about before now.

      Heck, if the article is right about the Perot-to-Nader vote, then New Mexico SHOULD have been Republican when you consider that Nader got 22,000 votes…and there were almost 370 votes separating Gore from Bush. Iowa, Wisconsin and Oregon would have also gone for Bush without Nader as well. Minnesota would have likely gone for Bush without Nader, and Maine would have been VERY dodgy.

      30-44 more votes into the Bush/Cheney camp. Imagine THAT map, if you will. Florida wouldn’t have mattered.

      As for Buchanan, the only other state his withdrawal could have affected were Iowa, New Mexico, Wisconsin and MAYBE Oregon. AGAIN assuming he stole votes solely from Bush.

      Of course, had Gore thought about carrying Tennessee (His State?), Arkansas (Clinton’s State) OR West Virginia (had a Democratic party ready to work for him, but he didn’t care), than Florida wouldn’t have mattered.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    Had a lot of other factors gone differently, Gore would have won. This is true.

    However, Nader is the only one of those factors who *had a single choice* – to not run in wing states like Florida, when he knew he could not win nationally. Who was specifically begged not to run in Florida. And who decided to run.

    So, sorry. He’s not off the hook. Gore ran the best campaign he could, with clear goals. The SCOTUS made their decision after the fact. Nader’s stated goals ran contrary to the actual expected results – and so Nader continues to bear the main fault for the unnecessary 8 years of damage that then occurred.

    In addition to Nader’s spreading around the country that Gore was not effectively different than Bush ideologically.
    Which is certainly debatable, but which was more importantly besides the point – Gore was competent, attentive to policy and intellectually curious. GWB was none of those things.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    Had a lot of other factors gone differently, Gore would have won. This is true.

    However, Nader is the only one of those factors who *had a single choice* – to not run in wing states like Florida, when he knew he could not win nationally. Who was specifically begged not to run in Florida. And who decided to run.

    So, sorry. He’s not off the hook. Gore ran the best campaign he could, with clear goals. The SCOTUS made their decision after the fact. Nader’s stated goals ran contrary to the actual expected results – and so Nader continues to bear the main fault for the unnecessary 8 years of damage that then occurred.

    In addition to Nader’s spreading around the country that Gore was not effectively different than Bush ideologically.
    Which is certainly debatable, but which was more importantly besides the point – Gore was competent, attentive to policy and intellectually curious. GWB was none of those things.

    • Hadrian999

      first let me say that I can’t stand Nadar, not for this though.
      this idea that all independent parties somehow owe allegiance to the 2 cartels is absurd.
      voting for the lesser evil vs. the big evil is why we are in the state we are in, this idea that
      the democrats or republicans are the only real parties is a con, they are just a pr scam for the people that own both parties, any party that shows any deference to the D’s or R’s should be treated like one of them and lose all independent credibility.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

        I”m not saying indepedent parties owe allegiance to two parties. What I am saying is that, in a real world where there really are two major parties, choices have consequences. And those consequences are viewable in the real world as results.

        Nader and other third party candidates are free to do whatever they like. But when they do things that cause things to get worse instead of better, they have made a stupid decision. And they should be called on that decision, rather than excused for it.

        If third, fourth or fifth parties want to actually be viable, they are going to have to start from the ground up and actually make a difference by electing viable candidates to lower positions. And not constantly have one or two guys tilting at the brass ring.

        Nader’s constant running for the President rather than some state position where he could do some g ood, and his *utter* lack of recruiting and pushing other candidates to run with his party in other offices – that shows how serious he really is in providing an effective alternative.

        If Nader seriously wanted to change things, he would act differently. As would many other candidates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=693815840 Joe Nolan

    I love all of the detail here and I’m not sure why JB is still dissenting as FL makes no difference given all the other factors. The one I always cite is that Gore lost his own home state. If he carried TN he would’ve walked away with it. But he couldn’t get his own people behind him. To then blame Nader for Gore losing and then blame him again for George Bush’s presidency is unreasonable. Nader was clearly a different candidate compared to Gore and Bush who offered an alternative and he had every legitimate right to run. Gore the weak candidate and Bush the worst president ever have to answer for their own sins and their own failings.

  • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

    I love all of the detail here and I’m not sure why JB is still dissenting as FL makes no difference given all the other factors. The one I always cite is that Gore lost his own home state. If he carried TN he would’ve walked away with it. But he couldn’t get his own people behind him. To then blame Nader for Gore losing and then blame him again for George Bush’s presidency is unreasonable. Nader was clearly a different candidate compared to Gore and Bush who offered an alternative and he had every legitimate right to run. Gore the weak candidate and Bush the worst president ever have to answer for their own sins and their own failings.

  • Hadrian999

    first let me say that I can’t stand Nadar, not for this though.
    this idea that all independent parties somehow owe allegiance to the 2 cartels is absurd.
    voting for the lesser evil vs. the big evil is why we are in the state we are in, this idea that
    the democrats or republicans are the only real parties is a con, they are just a pr scam for the people that own both parties, any party that shows any deference to the D’s or R’s should be treated like one of them and lose all independent credibility.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Who gives a crap?!
    The author obviously has nothing better to do than rehash stupid crap that no longer matters.
    What a waste of print. Next he’ll write and in depth, detailed article about Y2K.
    Gimme a break….

  • Anonymous

    Who gives a crap?!
    The author obviously has nothing better to do than rehash stupid crap that no longer matters.
    What a waste of print. Next he’ll write and in depth, detailed article about Y2K.
    Gimme a break….

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LZNJUGQUKQ5GBYR3FZ3D4FJF7I Donald

    The merits is basically so some of us can be educated as to things we never knew before.

    I automatically assumed that Reform was right of Republican, and Green was left of Democrat. Easy calculation, especially when you remember that New Hampshire also went Republican that election, and the Gore/Nader count was greater than Bush/Buchanan count. That the average Naderite might just be a 3rd party voter (instead of left-of-Democrat voter) is something I never heard about before now.

    Heck, if the article is right about the Perot-to-Nader vote, then New Mexico SHOULD have been Republican when you consider that Nader got 22,000 votes…and there were almost 370 votes separating Gore from Bush. Iowa, Wisconsin and Oregon would have also gone for Bush without Nader as well. Minnesota would have likely gone for Bush without Nader, and Maine would have been VERY dodgy.

    30-44 more votes into the Bush/Cheney camp. Imagine THAT map, if you will. Florida wouldn’t have mattered.

    As for Buchanan, the only other state his withdrawal could have affected were Iowa, New Mexico, Wisconsin and MAYBE Oregon. AGAIN assuming he stole votes solely from Bush.

    Of course, had Gore thought about carrying Tennessee (His State?), Arkansas (Clinton’s State) OR West Virginia (had a Democratic party ready to work for him, but he didn’t care), than Florida wouldn’t have mattered.

  • 5by5

    Of course he didn’t lose because of Nader.

    He lost because:

    + Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, in coordination with Governor Jeb Bush, ordered local election supervisors to illegally purge 57,700 voters from the registries. (In total, 1.9 million votes nationwide were cast but never counted.)

    And,

    + Because of Joe Biden’s lack of courage to withstand a rightwing media onslaught. Back in the 1980’s Joe Biden was the head of the Judiciary Committee charged with deciding whether or not to put Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court. Anita Hill testified that Thomas was a sexually harassing douchebag, but amid the media firestorm, Biden backed down the second Thomas pulled his bullshit “high-tech lynching” card, and refused to call the two OTHER women who corroborated Anita Hill’s story — both of them Republican, incidentally.

    With the net result being Thomas got onto the Court, and became the 5th vote that ordered the legal recount to be halted, in one of the worst legal decisions in the history of this country. Perhaps the worst since the Dred Scot case.

    Why does this still matter?

    Because John Kerry also won, but lost — again because some 3 million votes were illegally thrown out, not just in Ohio, I might add.

    And it continues to be a problem today, because still, in far too many counties, there are electronic voting machines that are so easy to hack, you can fricking install Pac-Man onto them in under 5 minutes, not to mention that Clint Curtis’ vote flipping software has — to this day — never been properly investigated.

    And vote “spoilage” continues to this day, with some rather interesting slants. In Florida, an African American is 900% more likely to have their vote go uncounted than a white voter. In New Mexico, a Hispanic voter is 500% more likely than a white voter to have her or his ballot tossed. In high-income white districts, spoilage is typically 1%.

    There’s another name for this: Jim Crow.

  • 5by5

    Of course he didn’t lose because of Nader.

    He lost because:

    + Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, in coordination with Governor Jeb Bush, ordered local election supervisors to illegally purge 57,700 voters from the registries. (In total, 1.9 million votes nationwide were cast but never counted.)

    And,

    + Because of Joe Biden’s lack of courage to withstand a rightwing media onslaught. Back in the 1980’s Joe Biden was the head of the Judiciary Committee charged with deciding whether or not to put Clarence Thomas onto the Supreme Court. Anita Hill testified that Thomas was a sexually harassing douchebag, but amid the media firestorm, Biden backed down the second Thomas pulled his bullshit “high-tech lynching” card, and refused to call the two OTHER women who corroborated Anita Hill’s story — both of them Republican, incidentally.

    With the net result being Thomas got onto the Court, and became the 5th vote that ordered the legal recount to be halted, in one of the worst legal decisions in the history of this country. Perhaps the worst since the Dred Scot case.

    Why does this still matter?

    Because John Kerry also won, but lost — again because some 3 million votes were illegally thrown out, not just in Ohio, I might add.

    And it continues to be a problem today, because still, in far too many counties, there are electronic voting machines that are so easy to hack, you can fricking install Pac-Man onto them in under 5 minutes, not to mention that Clint Curtis’ vote flipping software has — to this day — never been properly investigated.

    And vote “spoilage” continues to this day, with some rather interesting slants. In Florida, an African American is 900% more likely to have their vote go uncounted than a white voter. In New Mexico, a Hispanic voter is 500% more likely than a white voter to have her or his ballot tossed. In high-income white districts, spoilage is typically 1%.

    There’s another name for this: Jim Crow.

  • Anonymous

    If you say so -Psycho…..

    This was discussed and rehashed so many times it simply seems a bit irrelevent to me considering all the new “faggy-ass shit” goin on. Boohoo, Al Gore lost, Reagan is dead, JFK got assasinated, Clinton got a blowjob.
    Psychognosis has got a bug up his ass about the bug up my ass……and I dont much give a crap.
    Just my opinion…..

  • Ms_jacob

    Just a point of clarification, Diebold wasn’t even in the elections business in 2000. As you point out, Global Elections was the company it acquired. So to mention Diebold in the same breath with anything having to do with the 2000 election is just inaccurate.

    • Good German

      Thanks for the heads up. I’ve contacted an editor to make a correction.

  • Ms_jacob

    Just a point of clarification, Diebold wasn’t even in the elections business in 2000. As you point out, Global Elections was the company it acquired. So to mention Diebold in the same breath with anything having to do with the 2000 election is just inaccurate.

  • Ironaddict06

    I’m assuming this article is talking about the general election(popular vote) not the Electoral College vote, which is the votes that determine the president.
    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/vote/presidential_elections.shtml

  • Ironaddict06

    I’m assuming this article is talking about the general election(popular vote) not the Electoral College vote, which is the votes that determine the president.
    http://www.enchantedlearning.com/vote/presidential_elections.shtml

  • Good German

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ve contacted an editor to make a correction.

  • Psychognosis

    mmmm…delicious apathy! True America!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_425GVKQCLFZMQYYENR7CJBRDVA jb

    I”m not saying indepedent parties owe allegiance to two parties. What I am saying is that, in a real world where there really are two major parties, choices have consequences. And those consequences are viewable in the real world as results.

    Nader and other third party candidates are free to do whatever they like. But when they do things that cause things to get worse instead of better, they have made a stupid decision. And they should be called on that decision, rather than excused for it.

    If third, fourth or fifth parties want to actually be viable, they are going to have to start from the ground up and actually make a difference by electing viable candidates to lower positions. And not constantly have one or two guys tilting at the brass ring.

    Nader’s constant running for the President rather than some state position where he could do some g ood, and his *utter* lack of recruiting and pushing other candidates to run with his party in other offices – that shows how serious he really is in providing an effective alternative.

    If Nader seriously wanted to change things, he would act differently. As would many other candidates.

  • Anonymous

    Differences in opinion or what I choose to give my attention to are not apathetic.
    The fact that you brand me or all of America with apathy is in itself apathetic.

    Your dismisal of my differing viewpoint is the ultimate in apathy, as is your sarcasm.

  • Psychognosis

    GoodDoktorBad – “Who gives a crap?! ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apathy

  • GoodDoktorBad

    If you say so -Psycho…..

    This was discussed and rehashed so many times it simply seems a bit irrelevent to me considering all the new “faggy-ass shit” goin on. Boohoo, Al Gore lost, Reagan is dead, JFK got assasinated, Clinton got a blowjob.
    Psychognosis has got a bug up his ass about the bug up my ass……and I dont much give a crap.
    Just my opinion…..

  • Psychognosis

    mmmm…delicious apathy! True America!

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Differences in opinion or what I choose to give my attention to are not apathetic.
    The fact that you brand me or all of America with apathy is in itself apathetic.

    Your dismisal of my differing viewpoint is the ultimate in apathy, as is your sarcasm.

  • Psychognosis

    GoodDoktorBad – “Who gives a crap?! ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apathy

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