News & Politics

The Man Who Would Not Die


October 30—Having survived a weekend barrage of thousands of spam
e-mails and phone calls, Ralph Nader’s campaign insists it’s 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, 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
Nader’s “kamikaze” campaign.

Targets of’s flash attacks have been college-campus
coordinators who have been drumming up support for the Green. Some of
them have been so harassed that they’ve dropped out, say Nader campaign

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.’s 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 Smith’s Morning Line (found at
Nader’s 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 hasn’t 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.


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