2000 presidential bid -- and Al Gore's eventual loss -- the backlash
was intense. Many Democrats worry that another Nader candidacy
will give President Bush a second term in the White House.
analyst Charlie Cook wrote in a New York Times column that, "the
race between President Bush and John Kerry may very well be so
close that even a declawed Ralph Nader could tip the election
to the incumbent."
the premise that he should not run because he might ruin another
party's chances, saying he is being treated with contempt and
being called a "spoiler" simply because he is daring
to broaden the scope of political choices available to the American
is a contemptuous term," Nader told Tim Russert in February,
"as if anybody who dares to challenge the two-party system
and corrupt politics and broken politics and corporate power is
a spoiler. Come again?"
faces an uphill battle getting his name on state ballots this
election year, since he is running as an independent, not as a
nominee of the Green Party. Had he run with the Green Party, Nader
would have been guaranteed to get on the ballot in the 22 states
that recognize the Green Party. As an independent, he must get
his name on each state's ballot individually. To get on the Texas
ballot, for example, Nader must get 64,000 signatures from registered
Texas voters by May 2004.
In May, Nader's
candidacy received an unexpected boost when the consumer advocate
received the endorsement of the Reform Party, giving him ballot
access in at least eight states. Also, according to Dr. James
Zogby, Nader may still be able to get the Green Party nomination
at their summer 2004 convention.
Nader is undeterred,
repeating that he is driven by a desire to open the electoral
process from a two-party to a multiparty system.
a while, you say this is a shutout. And what do we do?" Nader
said on the NewsHour a day after announcing his 2004 candidacy.
"We either go to Monterey and watch the whales, or we do
what Jefferson counseled: that when the government is taken away
from you by the corporate interests that are swarming over this
city, you've got to go into the electoral arena."
By Jessica Moore, Online NewsHour