By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
October 30Having survived a weekend barrage of thousands of spam e-mails and phone calls, Ralph Naders campaign insists its still on track and may actually have picked up votes in Michigan and Oregon, where the Green candidate is now pulling 10 percent.
In an effort mounted by Wes Boyd of Moveon.org, PAC recipients are advised to jam Nader e-mail servers, fax machines, and phone lines with pleas for him to quit the race. Boyd claims to have played a key role in supporting Clinton during his impeachment woes by dumping thousands of e-mail messages on Congress. Moveon is out to stop what Boyd calls Naders "kamikaze" campaign.
Targets of Moveon.orgs flash attacks have been college-campus coordinators who have been drumming up support for the Green. Some of them have been so harassed that theyve dropped out, say Nader campaign workers.
Meanwhile, various new Web sites are trying to arrange vote swaps, where people in states sewn up by Democrat Al Gore can vote for Nader in exchange for Nader people in tight states going for Gore.
Monday polls are still showing a neck-and-neck race, with Republican George W. Bush running slightly ahead. Voter.coms battleground survey has Bush at 45 and Gore at 40. MSNBC/Reuters/Zogby has Gore at 45 and Bush at 43. CNN/Gallup/USA Today shows Bush at 49, Gore at 42. The ABC/Washington Post poll pegs Bush at 48 and Gore at 45. Nader runs between 3 and 4 percent in these polls. Libertarians are claiming 3 to 4 percent and a swing role in Illinois, Colorado, and Georgia.
The swing states will likely play a crucial role in this election, when every electoral vote is precious. Bush has 42 more electoral votes than Gore, according to Sam Smiths Morning Line (found at www.prorev.com). Naders rise in popularity could make the difference. "Nader is the critical factor in 102 electoral votes," says the Morning Line, "well more than the 22 needed to change outcome of election."
This week Nader will crisscross the Midwest, holding rallies in Dearborn, Michigan, and Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The consumer advocate will also appear with Jesse Ventura on a Nightline town meeting in Minneapolis. Ventura, who hasnt made an endorsement, backs the third party movement in general. Nader is also going to Chicago and Seattle, and plans to attend a super rally in Long Beach before the windup shindig at the Washington MCI Center on Sunday.