It’s days-old news by now that two major national polls (Newsweek and Time) have Bush with double-digit leads over Kerry. (For cites, search Google — there are scores of them.) Bush also polls favorably in approval, with more than 50%. No president polling with these numbers at this time of year has ever lost an election. That’s not to say that it’s impossible for Kerry to win, and it has a lot to do with the convention spike, but Kerry didn’t even create a spike, and this debate really isn’t about that. Besides, Kerry might have a glimmer of hope in that (only) 43% of people are happy about the way things are going for them in general. But let’s face it, even leftist blogs like Salon are worried about Kerry’s rambling speeches and his ability to pull this one out.
So, the question is whether the argument that you’re throwing your vote away because it takes votes away from Kerry still matters. I mean, now Kerry finds himself in the same place as the third parties — a victim of percentages and chasms. Therefore, for those of us who were going to vote for Kerry based on the theory that it might help unseat Bush, why shouldn’t we now vote Libertarian, Green, Nader, or whatever our honest convictions were? It seems to me that we would now be wasting our votes on Kerry when we could be contributing to the much needed voices of actual dissent.
Anyhoo, I must agree with the general sentiment of Mockingbird. So Bush hopped ahead in the polls, and suddenly everyone’s supposed to hop off the Kerry wagon? Isn’t that tantamount to ensuring that Bush will stay in office? Aren’t the Kerry votes needed now more than ever?
But now you’re using the argument we used before for the third parties when the race was tight; i.e., Badnarik really needs my vote since the other two already have plenty of votes. Why is it good for the goose but not for the gander?
To answer your question, Liberal, I would vote for a third party candidate if I believed that in my lifetime I would see reasonable progress towards a true multi (more than two) party system in the U.S. We desperately need it, but I have little hope for its fruition and no idea how to make it happen.
I don’t think that, without a parliament, a multi-party system makes much sense. In a parliamentary democracy with apportioned votes, the Atkins Diet Party could win a seat and have some representation. But in a winner takes all congressional race, that is almost impossible. What I would like to see is a return to two parties that actually are different. The left-right thing has been exposed for what it is — distinction without difference. It needs to be an authoritarian party versus a libertarian one, and long ago, that’s pretty much what Republicans versus Democrats were.
Well I pretty much agree about our two parties being distinct in name only. I wonder if instant run-offs or proportional voting, at least at the local level, might nourish a third party, and perhaps allow for coalitions that do not require a parliament. But as to the OP, granted that the “left-right thing has been exposed…”, would voting Green or Libertarian or for Nader do anything to strengthen a third party suffriciently so as to supplant one of the current ones, or,failing that, change one of the existing ones sufficiently so as to create a true
Possibly. When party shifts have happened before, it was due to one of the major parties losing massive support. The tendency is that they cooperate in collusion and vote-fixing through ballot access law and so forth, until such time as one of them becomes so dominate over the other that dissenters split off into significant factions. That’s how the South became Republican (the Dixiecrats split off) and how “liberal” came to mean “centrist”. The best thing Democrats could do right now is revolt against their own party, return it to its liberal roots, and focus its mission on painting the Republicans as authoritarians.
CNN/USA Today/Gallup: Bush +1, Reg voters
ARG: Kerry +2, Reg voters
Zogby: Bush +2, Likely voters
ARG: Bush +1, Likely voters
Rasmussen: Bush +1.1, Likely voters
Still say every poll gives Bush a big lead?
Yesterday, Rasmussen Reports released an analysis stating that Bush is ahead by 4 to 5 points, a number which we often saw in the last few months of the 2000 race – and a margin much wider than what we saw on election day. Rasmussen says that the Time and Newsweek polls included too many Republicans. They applied reliable party data to the Time and Newsweek numbers, and found that corrected results showed Bush +3 in the Time poll, and Bush +6 in the Newsweek poll. Again, numbers we often saw in the last few months of the 2000 race, and a margin much wider than what we saw on election day.
The race is far from over, despite Liberal’s gloomy predictions.
I think there are some good solid reasons not to vote for those folks that have nothing to do with poll numbers. For instance, Nader is an asshole. However, if folks want to vote asshole, they should go ahead and vote asshole.
Actually, I don’t see a scenario where third party voting is ever going to make sense. I think of America as a huge ship with two propellers. The propeller on the starboard side is manned by Democrats, trying to increase the power so the ship turns slowly left. The propeller on the port side is manned by Republicans, trying to increase power so the ship turns slowly right. Turns are slow and take years, and the ship doesn’t go forward without both engines. Now in my metaphor, third parties are like people on the deck blowing into pinwheels. Whether they blow left, blow right, or toss their pinwheels over the rail makes no difference at all in the motion of the ship. To make a real difference in where the ship goes, you need to get into one of the main engine rooms.
And this is why, despite my political differences with BLD, I won’t slam him views. I’ll admit to not knowing the best way to run the country as I’m sure he would. There is so much we don’t know that Presidents do.
The beauty of the US Constitution is that there are so many checks and balances, no one person can destroy the country. This is what is so entertaining to me when I see people citing Bush turning America into 1934 Germany.
Ain’t gonna happen folks. You may hate the policies a President puts forth, but it won’t come close to creating the fall of the Republic.