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December 23, 2003
Nader Rules Out Green Party Run in '04

Ralph Nader made a curious announcement today on his intentions for next year's Presidential race:

Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate viewed by many Democrats as the spoiler of the 2000 election for taking votes away from Al Gore, has decided not to run on the Green Party ticket next year, a party spokesman said Tuesday. Nader, who garnered nearly 3 percent of the national vote in the last presidential election, has not ruled out running for president as an independent and plans to make a decision by January.

Which begs the question: would he run under an independent banner, or that of another party? Apparently it's not off the table, but something must have happened to disenchant him with the Greens. The Greens, according to the article, are disappointed in this decision. I suspect that Nader may not have wanted to spend money on a primary campaign, and other Greens have announced their intention of running, including Peter Camejo, who ran for governor on the California recall ballot. Nader probably believes that his position as party flagbearer in 2000 should have allowed him to run unopposed. Otherwise, holding open a possibility of a non-Green run makes no sense. The Greens can get a candidate on the ballot in all 50 states, which would be a difficult task for a complete independent.

This is better news for the Democrats that it is bad news for the Republicans, but in the end it will probably matter little. So far, at a stage when challengers are supposed to be sucking up all the political oxygen and outshowing an incumbent President, Bush is beating all of the Democrats badly in the polls, and with the economy picking up steam, that trend should only continue. The possibility of a Nader campaign having an effect in 2004 as in 2000 gets more and more remote. A second Nader run, with or without the Greens, is likely to resemble the second Perot run: tired and pointless.

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge was kind enough to link back to me. It's a good time to note that I've added Hugh Hewitt's Wine Guy to the blogroll. Don't forget to buy his book. (I always return a plug!)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 23, 2003 3:10 PM

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Tracked on December 23, 2003 5:29 PM

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