Third-Party Picks Causing Barely a Ripple

Barr, Nader not polling high enough to be game-changers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2008 4:00 AM CST
Ralph Nader speaks during a news conference, last month in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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(Newser) – Third-party candidates across the nations are highly unlikely to siphon off anywhere near a significant number of votes this election day, Time reports. Libertarian Bob Barr is polling around 1%—down from a peak of 6% in the summer—with Ralph Nader faring the same. The longshot candidates say their goal is not to act as spoilers, but to make discontent heard and to reform the electoral process.

One state where a third-party candidate could make a difference is Bob Barr's home state of Georgia, where the former GOP congressman could claim to have played a central role if McCain slumps to defeat there. "The Libertarian Party is a feather," observed one political science professor. But "if a scale is finely balanced, then a feather can make a difference."