[EM] Re: Kerry-Nader negotiation initiative

James Green-Armytage jarmyta at antioch-college.edu
Fri Sep 3 22:53:12 PDT 2004

>Nader is *not* the most important third-party candidate in recent

	That's true. I'm not sure if Ralph was saying that he was... he did say
that this was the worst example of the spoiler effect, which might mean
something different. For one, with Perot, it's not especially clear that
Bush would have won without Perot in the race. Maybe he would have, maybe
not. If not, then it isn't really a spoiler effect. 
	The thing about the Nader situation is the notion that a good solid
majority of Nader voters would have preferred Gore over Bush; this fact,
combined with the ratio of Nader's votes to Bush's margin of victory in
Florida and New Hampshire, spells "spoiler" pretty clearly.
>In 1992 and 1996, Perot got 19 and 8 million votes respectively.  
>(http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781450.html). In the past century, third 
>party candidates exceeded Nader's 2000 2.8 million votes in 1996, 1992, 

	John Anderson! But people don't really consider John Anderson to be a
spoiler, since Reagan won with a majority of the popular vote, and the
electoral count was quite distant. Most of you know this, but John
Anderson is the godfather of the Center for Voting and Democracy, i.e. an
advocate for IRV. It's sort of too bad that he never took up Condorcet's
method, since he ran as a centrist after all, but at least he's pretty
conscious of the problem with our voting system.


	George Wallace. Something tells me that if he was taking votes away from
anyone, it was the Republicans, and they won anyway (Nixon). Maybe I'm
wrong, though.


	Hmm, the progressive party! Again, not a spoiler; the Republicans had a
clear majority. I wonder what happened to them, though...

>and 1912.

	Yes, this is the best example I know of the spoiler effect in American
history. Taft and Teddy split the vote, and so we got Woodrow Wilson.
Meanwhile Eugene Debs got 6% of the vote. This is probably the craziest
electoral map ever. 
A great site for all of this is http://www.uselectionatlas.org/USPRESIDENT/

my best,

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