Firebrand consumer activist, progressive and political spoiler Ralph Nader recently announced that he'd be once again running for president in 2008. Nader, who siphoned away precious votes from Al Gore eight years ago, has been widely accused by many Democrats as having cost the former VP the election, and in the process giving America eight disastrous years of the Bushevik administration. But a recent Zogby poll indicates that we could be looking at 2000 all over again.
In the poll, the presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain (AZ), leads Sen. Barack Obama by 44%-39% and Sen. Hillary Clinton by 45%-39%. But what's troubling is that Nader, with eight months to go until the election, took 5% in the McCain-Obama match-up, and 6% in the McCain-Clinton contest. In both match-ups, 11% surveyed said they were either not sure of who'd they'd vote for, or, that they'd vote for someone else.
So what's the significance of all this? According to Zogby Research President John Zogby, "The messages to Democrats are clear. Number one, Nader may win enough support to get into the general election debates. Number two, what could be at risk is support among several key constituencies that the Democratic Party candidate will need to win in November, notably younger voters, independents, and progressives."
The last thing Democrats need in this already historically close, contentious race is the resurgent presence of The Spoiler.