Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let Bob Barr debate!

That's what a majority of Americans say, according to a Zogby International poll.

New York - More than half of likely voters nationwide - 55% - want Republican-turned-Libertarian Bob Barr to participate in presidential debates this fall, while nearly half - 46% - said they think Ralph Nader should be allowed into the on-stage fray, the latest Zogby Interactive polling shows.

Among political independents, 69% said Barr should be at a lectern with Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, and a majority of Republicans and Democrats agreed. Among Democrats, 52% said they think Barr should participate, while 50% of Republicans agreed.

It's not going to happen. The Republicans and Democrats don't want any competition, thank you! They've stacked the deck quite nicely to minimize the chance of anybody ever again crashing their party.

But how encouraging that the public actually wants to hear other voices ...

Update: In response to a query from Keeper:
The interactive online survey was conducted Aug. 12-14, 2008, and included 3,339 likely voters nationwide. It carries a margin of error of +/- 1.7 percentage points.
A bit more technical detail here.



Anonymous Keeper said...

Odd poll. It's interesting that only percentages were released. I bet in 10,000 calls, they could probably only find 2-3 people who ever heard of Bob Barr, let alone know anything he stands for. Can you give more info on the poll itself?

As for allowing him in the debates, I'd like to hear his ideas, but frankly he has zero chance of winning so why take up valuable time from potential winners when we can read his ideas on his website?

August 20, 2008 8:41 PM  
Blogger J.D. Tuccille said...

I updated the post with a bit of technical detail about the poll.

I'll add that I'm always dubious about concerns that adding a third or fourth candidate will "take up valuable time." After all, only one person is going to win -- the others all lose, by whatever margin. And Canadians seem to survive 4 or 5 debate participants, Brits 3 or more, Kiwis 4 or 5, and so on ...

August 20, 2008 8:54 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Torrey said...

IMHO there is only ONE legitimate standard for allowing a candidate to participate in a debate - Is the candidate on a sufficiently large number of ballots to have a statistically possible chance of winning. In most cases this is a binary question - it only is a problem in the presidential race, where it is necessary to get onto a bunch of different ballots, so that different candidates may be on different numbers of ballots...

Attempting to use any other grounds seems to me like a "contribution in kind" to the invited candidates, and thus a probable violation of current campaign laws (I'll leave the question of campaign finance law legitimacy for another time...)

I think Barr is a total ass, and as a potential LP Presidential Elector, could not cast an electoral vote for him in the unlikely event that the LP carried my state, but he should be allowed to debate.


August 26, 2008 9:40 PM  
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^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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March 19, 2009 1:46 AM  

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