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Thursday, December 18, 2003
Third Party Howard?

By Steven Taylor @ 9:40 am

The New Republic Online’s blog responds to Kaus’ discussion of Dean going independent (why, oh why, doesn’t Kaus have permalinks??). The analysis is quite flawed. Firstly, it seem predicated on solely the national popular vote, not the electoral college (have we forgotten how the system works already?). The real question should be: how many states could Dean expect to beat both Gephardt and Bush. The simple answer is: not many (indeed, perhaps none).

The New Republic poster seems to think it would come down to pro-war v. anti-war voters, with Bush and Gephardt splitting the pro-war vote. This strikes me as poor analysis, as most of the true pro-war vote is Republican, so Gephardt would be in trouble if that was all he had going for him. The truth of the matter is simple: Gephardt and Dean would split the Democratic vote and Bush would, obviously, have all the Republican vote. Bush would dominate in the South, do quite well in the West and mid-West and pick up several Democratic states because of the Dean-Gephardt split. Indeed, Bush would likely come away with California and New York. It wouldn’t end up in the Congress, it would end up in an early night for election watchers.

Indeed, the very suggestion that Dean has a better shot as an Independent than he would have as the Democratic nominee is sheer fantasy.

Like it or not: there is a huge advantage of being the nominee of a major party, and going to a third party/indepedent bid is to throw away votes.

Note: James of OTB had some spot-on analysis of this scenario yesterday.

Filed under: 2004 Campaign

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2 Comments»

  1. Agreed all around although, to be fair, I think Kaus is arguing that Dean could come in SECOND in a few states and shut out the Democrats, ultimately running them out of business and supplanting them. I don’t think that can happen, for reasons I noted at the linked post.

    Comment by James Joyner — Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 11:02 am

  2. Kaus’ piece makes at least some sense. It was the NewRep post that struck me as absurd.

    Comment by Steven — Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 11:05 am

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