June 25th, 2008
03:35 PM ET
14 years ago

Blitzer: Can a third party candidate break through?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.naderbarr.gi.jpg caption="What impact will Nader and Barr have this election season?"](CNN) - There are two intriguing third party candidates running for president his year: Ralph Nader and Bob Barr. Both are well known here in Washington. But will they have an impact around the country if the election between Barack Obama and John McCain is close?

Nader, a long time populist and liberal consumer advocate, has been here before. He won more than 90,000 votes in the Florida election in 2000 and was widely accused of helping George W. Bush beat Al Gore by just more than 500 votes in the state. Gore’s supporters believe that he would have won the state and the election if Nader had stayed out. Nader denies that, insisting he took votes from both Democrats and Republicans.

Barr is a former Republican Congressman from Georgia and is now running on the Libertarian Party ticket. In the House of Representatives, he was always an outspoken conservative. He took the lead in initiating impeachment charges against President Bill Clinton.

Given that conservative track record, he is likely to take votes away from McCain, especially in Georgia where he is relatively well-known.

Obama’s supporters are hoping he does. They believe Georgia is fertile ground for the Democratic candidate, especially if the Democrats can register hundreds of thousands of new young and African American voters in the state.

So let’s see how Nader and Barr do this time around.

Filed under: Bob Barr • Ralph Nader • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Voter

    This is a question the viewers should be asking CNN, not the other way around as Wolf would have us believe.

    June 25, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. Willy

    The DNC took the nomination away from Hillary just to get back in the W.H. They know OB has not a clue but they also know his good looks will fool all you "perky" women voters

    June 25, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Joe

    Its nice to see this it will hopefully take away some mcbush votes

    June 25, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. suz

    One can only hope that some other qualified 3rd candidate can wage a winning battle in November.

    June 25, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  5. Justice League

    big sal, what on earth are you talking about? Bush is in the whitehouse, not Obama, and gas is at an all time high! How on earth do you argue that Obama in office would mean higher gas prices? More drilling isn't the answer, increased refining capacity and global trade networking is. The war clearly isn't working, as Bush's war for oil has backfired on himself. Many Americans realize this, and more will realize this soon enough. Your statements are delusional.

    June 25, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Michael

    WHAT ABOUT REZCO AND OBAMA !!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!

    June 25, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Earl

    Not either of these 2 clowns

    June 25, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Tim

    "Given that conservative track record, he is likely to take votes away from McCain, especially in Georgia where he is relatively well-known."

    Ignorant statement, Wolf. Nobody is taking votes away from anyone. People vote for who they want to vote for even if it doesn't happen to be someone from the two "major" parties. It's not a two horse race no matter how much you want it to be, and no matter how lopsided the field may be.

    June 25, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Michael


    June 25, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Michael


    June 25, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Michael


    June 25, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. GO AWAY!!!!!

    What impact will Nader and Barr have this election season?...................
    THEY NEED TO GO TO THE HOUSE............2 IDIOTS!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. Tony, Miami

    They are both trouble makers but in the 2008 election they can only help Barack Obama beat McCain a little more than necessary.

    June 25, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Michael


    June 25, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Can we just be American?

    I don't think Nadar will harm Obama but Barr – please take the McBush votes as we are looking for change!

    June 25, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Bill

    Well, a third party or independent candidate can't win under current system, there are too many hurdles to clear, money being the biggest. Now, if we had a true campaign finance reform act, that limited each candidate to 50 million dollars (1 million per state), AND Eliminated PAC advertising during the general election period. THEN you might see some movement towards a level playing field, and you would increase the chances that viable independents and 3rd party candidates would have a chance.
    At this point, no truly viable 3rd party candidate will run, because they know they can't win. Thus you have the politically irrelevent trying to play spoiler to make a name for themselves, either in history, or for consideration at a later date, or maybe because they are just bored.

    June 25, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  17. Steve

    Anyone can beat Mccain. All they have to do is get a copy of the Supreme Court decison Rogers vs. Bellei and all the citations that go with decision and look at State Department decison regarding the fact that the Panama Canal Zone was never Sovereign territory. You can get the same information by analyising the the first 2 Chapters of the Hays-Banau Varilla treaty.
    It does not matter if mcCain was born in the Panama Canal Zone or on any military base throughout the world. He possess derivative citizenship and his position is no different than the million or so children of military families born on bases or military bases outside the United States. The problem dates back almost to the ratification of the Constitution.

    June 25, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. MD

    Polls show that WITH these two idiots in the mix, Obama has a 15 point advantage over McCane.

    All I can say is thank you guys for taking votes away from McCane.

    June 25, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Michael

    REZCO ?????????????

    June 25, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. Scott

    Barr and Nader?! There has been quite a movement online for Ron Paul. It would be nice to have a President who actually respects the Constitution for a change.

    September 25, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
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