Thursday, August 07, 2008

Barr, Nader making progress on state ballots

Bob Barr and Ralph Nader are making progress in getting their names on state ballots for the 2008 presidential election.

Barr, a former Republican congressman who is the Libertarian Party nominee, is on 34 ballots and hopes to be on 48 by Election Day, party spokesman Andrew Davis said. Nader, the longtime consumer advocate running as an independent, has submitted petitions to be on 23 ballots. He said Wednesday he hopes to be on at least 45 state ballots before Nov. 4.
Some political observers believe Barr poses a threat to John McCain in states where the Republican is running a tight race against Barack Obama. Likewise, many Democrats who feel Nader siphoned needed votes away from Al Gore in 2000, fear he could act as a spoiler this year.

Merle Black, a political scientist at Emory University, agrees with many Democrats who say Nader cost Gore the presidency. He's not sure what the third-party impact will be this year.

"I don't think either of these guys are going to do much," he said.

Black said Barr may have an effect in Georgia, where he won four terms in the House of Representatives. McCain leads state polls there by an average of 7 percentage points, according to Obama has said he wants to be competitive in the traditionally "red" GOP state and has campaign staff on the ground.

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