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careful what you wish for, GOP fans of Nader

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  • careful what you wish for, GOP fans of Nader

    In the nine presidential elections starting with 1968, there have been 5 or 6 elections in which there were third parties of some note. In 1968, Nixon had George Wallace on his right, but defeated what remained of the incumbent democrats. In 1972, no third party, the incumbent Nixon won. In 1976, former democrat Gene McCarthy complicated things for Carter, but the incumbent Ford lost. In 1980, Carter was the incumbent, and was beaten by Reagan, despite the presence of former republican John Anderson. Reagan was re-elected in 84---no third party. Bush won in 1988 for the incumbent party---no third party. 1992, Bush was the incumbent---Perot---Bush lost. In 96, I think Perot tried again, but this was the only election in which there was a somewhat notable third party and the incumbent still won. In 2000, Nader was there, and if you discount the popular vote, which we do under our constitution, the incumbent party was replaced. I think the presence of a third party usually means people are really fed up about something, and they usually manage to make a change. There are oft-stated fears that the third party will cost the major challenging party votes---sometimes it seems to center the party out of power and make them seem like a change that could be reasonable. Third parties don't seem to have been a good development for the incumbents over the last 36 years.