Thursday, December 18, 2003

Dean as third-party candidate 

This post from &c. has to be the dumbest thing on electoral politics I've read in a while. One of the anonymous TNR bloggers thinks that Dean would have a good chance to win the presidency if he were a third party candidate against Bush and a pro-war candidate like Gephardt. The logic goes as follows:

For one thing, he'd be the only guy in the race who opposed the Iraq war. And, if all the polls taken over the last year are any indication, that opposition puts him on the same wavelength as at least 35-40 percent of the country. That issue alone could win him the presidency.
Stanley Kurtz points out that not all of those who oppose the war with base their votes solely on that opposition. There are other problems as well. Many of those same people will vote for Gephardt, not Dean, simply because Gephardt would be the Democratic nominee. And no matter how Dean and Gephardt divide up their share of the vote, half the voters will vote for Bush regardless of whether Dean is in the race. If Bush gets at least 45% of the vote, there is no conceivable way that Dean can get more votes than Bush in a three-way race.

Rather than giving Dean a chance to win, a Dean third-party candidacy might be the ticket to Bush winning all 50 states.
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