Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review April 19, 2000 / 14 Nissan, 5760

Chris Matthews

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Arianna Huffington
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Debbie Schlussel
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports



Nader's threat to Gore in California -- RALPH NADER, 66, has become a factor in the fight for California's 54 electoral votes.

A new presidential poll finds the Green Party standard-bearer pulling 9 percent of the vote in the West, with much of this vote expected to come from younger, more liberal, environmentally conscious voters. This spells Golden State trouble for Vice President Al Gore.

Pollster John Zogby says the surprisingly big showing for Nader threatens to shift California's bonanza of electoral votes to Texas governor George W. Bush, the Republican candidate. In a head-to-head test taken earlier, Gore beat Bush by only four points.

"Nader brings in new votes, but at the same time he really hurts Gore," Zogby said. "That could throw things topsy-turvy."

One key to Nader's heightened popularity may be the residual appetite for a reform candidate that John McCain managed to whet in his losing fight with Bush for the GOP nomination.

"It's not a mood of anger," Zogby said. "I believe there is a McCain vote out there, and it's wide open."

Democratic consultant Gale Kaufman, a senior adviser in Bill Bradley's California campaign, agrees.

"We've polled Ralph Nader repeatedly over the years, and his name always polls well with a certain segment of the electorate: younger, environmental, coastal, both Democrat and Republican. It's more of an age break than anything else."

Nader's appeal to reformist voters is showing up nationwide. The same Zogby poll finds the Green Party candidate polling almost 5.7 percent of the vote nationally, compared with just 3.6 percent for Pat Buchanan, the presumed Reform Party nominee.

The Zogby poll shows a majority of Americans want to see the famed consumer advocate included in the presidential TV debates next fall. Those forums are now limited to those candidates who draw 15 percent nationally, a threshold so far achieved by just Gore and Bush.

"People increasingly understand that a two-party debate will be a predictable exercise in issue avoidance," said Nader, who single-handedly created consumerism with his publication of "Unsafe at Any Speed" in 1965.

Nader argues that his campaign will close what he calls the "democracy gap" -- the wide divide between the country's adult population and active electorate. He says that people are tired of voting for the "least-worst" candidate, then finding even "worse" choices four years later.

For these turned-off voters, his campaign for the poor at a time of economic boom, his push for renewable fuels in an era of gas-guzzling, his case for a "widespread reform" crusade in the face of Big Party sleaze, even his notorious stoicism, might be just the ticket.

If so, expect his fellow environmentalist Al Gore to be the loser.

JWR contributor Chris Matthews is the author of Hardball. and hosts a CNBC show of the same name. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


04/17/00: Berkeley politician visits with Elian's father
04/14/00: Clinton and the Castro curse
04/11/00: Men who saved Elián from the sea
04/06/00: Caine should coach politicians
04/03/00: No. 2 spots: Woman-to-woman?
03/29/00: Gray for veep and Gore might coast to victory
03/27/00: The secret life of a CIA wife
03/22/00: 'We're suckers for underdogs'
03/20/00: Bush's California dream vs. reality
03/06/00: Scary Gore vs. hopeful Bush
03/06/00: McCain's appeal to 'Reagan Democrats'
03/01/00: John McCain fits a hero's profile
02/28/00: Grading the American presidents
02/25/00: Clinton remains No. 1 issue
02/23/00: Will Ross Perot aid POW McCain?
02/18/00: McCain faces fury of GOP establishment
02/17/00: Citizen Springer
02/14/00: McCainia and the frisky independents
02/07/00: A prime-time primary for California
02/02/00: Clinton's final campaign: Take the blame
01/31/00: Which GOPer is willing to pay for his positions?
01/27/00: John McCain's gay radar
01/25/00: This time, candidates get 'authenticity' check
01/18/00: AIDS dooms 1 in 4 in tiny Swaziland
01/13/00: Complacency might be the campaign key
01/10/00: A choice, not an echo
01/06/00: The role of a lifetime
01/03/00: Dangers in Gore's dirty war
12/30/99: Churchill's fighting words saved the century
12/28/99: Candidate Gore's separation anxiety
12/17/99: Catch 22: Leading candidates don't lead
12/17/99: New Democratic leader on the horizon
12/15/99: Is Hillary clueless?
12/08/99: Taking Buchananism to the streets
12/03/99: Why are we so obsessed with 'spin'?
12/01/99: Donald Trump, 'Sinatra of Steel'
11/29/99: Why AlGore will be our next president
11/23/99: After the fall
11/17/99: Our conveniently forgetful president
11/15/99: Next president: Male, WASP, self-selected
11/10/99: Backroom Bill
11/08/99: Please don't feed the 'pander bears'
11/03/99: Battle of the Bubba clones
11/01/99: Pat Buchanan, kamikaze candidate
10/27/99: The year of the woman... voter
10/25/99: The Curse of the Bubba
10/21/99: GOP gives Clinton his finest hour
10/18/99: Clinton's last hurrah
10/13/99: Rough seas for Capt. Ventura
10/11/99: Gore targets Bradley's strength
10/06/99: Bradley's got the right Rx
10/04/99: Buchanan, Churchill and Hitler
09/30/99: Who'll spin political gold in Golden State — Gore or Bradley?
09/27/99: Here's a millennial checklist for candidates
09/22/99: The biography battle
09/20/99: Buchanan's new book is a must-read
09/15/99: Don't rule out Beatty
09/13/99: The man with the sun on his face
09/08/99: W. vs. Jr. on dope and the draft
The FALN: Hillary's Willie Horton
08/26/99: Bill's guilt fuels Hill's race
08/25/99: The seemingly inexhaustible strength of America's free enterprise
08/23/99: GOP candidates are weak also-rans
08/16/99: Bubba on Bubba
08/11/99: Hillary's agonizing attempts to understand
08/09/99: With warm regards, Richard Nixon
08/04/99: Weicker: real third party is on the Left
08/02/99: Dubyah's last hangover
07/27/99: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; capitalism is gonna win

© 2000, NEA