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2008 Likely to be a 6-Candidate Race Again

Published on March 31, 2008, by in General.

It is possible to predict that 2008 will be another presidential election in which only six general election presidential candidates will theoretically be able to be elected.

It is quite likely that the presidential nominees of the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Green, and Constitution Parties, as well as independent candidate Ralph Nader, will be the only presidential candidates on the ballot in states containing a majority of the electoral vote. This will be a repeat of the situation in 2004.

The July 1, 2007 Ballot Access News paper issue listed such presidential candidates from all presidential elections 1856 through 2004. The number of electable presidential candidates has varied between two and seven, in all those elections.

RocktheDebates was founded to work for at least one general election presidential debate in which all the candidates who could potentially be elected, are invited. The fact that there almost surely will be six such candidates in 2008 should give renewed strength for the RocktheDebates goal. This year, if the Commission on Presidential Debates again claims that the 15% poll rule must be enforced or there would be “hundreds” of candidates on the stage, let that claim be countered with the facts. Also remember the large number of Democratic and Republican presidential debates held this season which were quite successful, even though there were often 6, 7, 8 or 9 candidates in those debates.

8 Responses

  1. I for one will be surprised if Nader is in that category, and I’m not even sure the absence of either the Greens or Constitution Party is to be ruled out.

  2. Richard

    Nader has already finished two petition drives (Hawaii and New Mexico). In 2004, by contrast, he didn’t finish a single one until June. So he is doing better than he was doing at this time 4 years ago.

  3. the greens already have ballot access in some big states, Illinois and California if they make it on the ballot in texas, then i think they’ll make that category.

  4. Deemer from California

    I would not be concerned about the Constitution Party
    getting on enough states this year. In 2004, we had
    more states and Electoral votes than both the Greens
    & Nader. That was with 4 of our state petitions being
    disqualified for varying reasons. There are less than
    10 states where we have never qualified at least once.
    Some of those we will be making a major effort on this
    year. My current estimate is we’ll get at least 40-42
    states with 405-430 Electoral votes.

  5. The CPD is, as anyone who reads this website regularly will no doubt agree, a mendacious fossil that pretends to be a noble institution. The obvious fact that the two parties themselves are able to conduct multi-candidate forums (in response to a public which insists on it and is vociferous when candidates are perceived to have been unfairly excluded) with no problems exposes whatever lame reasons they come up with for the bogus lies they are. At the very least there’s no reason they can’t have Nader and the Constitution Party candidate up there. They can’t complain about balance with that lineup.

    The Green Party starts out this year with 21 ballot lines and is conducting a far more intensive & sophisticated nationwide ballot access campaign than they did with Cobb/LaMarche four years ago. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they got on 45+ ballots. They’ll certainly be on in more states than Cobb was.

    Ralph Nader has more institutional knowledge about ballot access, from obvious personal experience, than all of his critics combined, and, like the GP, is being far more proactive about ballot access than he was in 2004 despite his late entry. The response to his fundraising & volunteering appeals is far more than I expected he would get. It’s occurring way under the radar because if you only got your information on these things from MSNBC, Newsweek, etc., you’d think the Nader/Gonzalez campaign had two people on board _in toto_ — the candidates themselves — with zero chance for getting on more than a handful of state ballots and no chance to get more than 2 or 3 tenths of a percent. The reality on the ground seems to be different, and impressively so from what I can tell. I’m not supporting Ralph this year but I say good for him. Heck, even John McLaughlin of The McLaughlin Group is cheering Ralph on this year.

  6. NE

    Richard, thanks for posting that comparison. I was actually wondering how Ralph Nader (and the various parties) are doing compared to 2004.

  7. Phil Sawyer

    The Nader-Gonzalez ’08 campaign is very, very serious and, as David Gaines pointed out above, is under the radar. There are going to be a lot of surprised people this year! That is no April Fool’s Joke, either!

    There is still the California Problem, as I call it, to contend with. It would be very nice if the Peace and Freedom Party would nominate the Nader-Gonzalez ticket. Getting the Old Guard in my Party to wake up and smell the coffee is another whole question, though.

    That is one (but not all) of the reasons that I keep saying that the Libertarian Party should nominate Nader-Gonzalez. The LP may be afraid of the Democrats, though.

  8. I follow your blog for quite a long time and should tell that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

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