I’ve been posting so rarely, but then this bit of wildness appears. Bob Barr has announced his candidacy to be the Libertarian candidate for president. And at the same time, it turns out Ron Paul and supporters are planning to be difficult at the RNC. Let’s start with Bob.
Bob is not the Libertarian candidate any more than Obama or McCain are the Dem and GOP candidates. That is, he’s the frontrunner, but the official declaration happens at the convention. The Lib national convention is May 22, and given his opposition he’ll probably be The One. Now, normally the Lib candidate wouldn’t pull enough to be worried, but Bob’s a nationally known individual – probably the only person who could have pulled more would have been Gingrich. Even so, it might not be a complete worry if it weren’t for Ron and friends.
They’re planning to be loud about their displeasure. And normally, give the winner take all practice of most of the GOP primaries, they’d be loud over in the protest zone out of sight and mind. Except, well, it seems some of them ARE delegates, and they can’t be excluded. And they’re planning to raise a ruckus about McCain and his… RINO tendencies, for simplicity.
So they’ll raise a ruckus, and they’ve got a candidate to whom they can move en masse after they’re dissed – one Bob Barr. Quite simply, Barr is going to have the same footnote in history as Nader and Perot.
That is, he’s going to pull 2-4% of the GOP vote overall. The harder core the population, the more likely he is to pull. Which means some of the swing states should now be considered Leans Dem, and some of the Leans R are tossups.
I would be unsurprised to discover Karl Rove is having a screaming crying jag about now. It’s really that bad for their side. The left and middle left is Obama’s. The middle right is McCain’s, except for those who think Iraq, Gitmo, and the curtailing of civil liberties were a bad thing — and they plus the Hard Right who think McCain is too liberal will go to Barr. Except for those who are yellow dog Republicans, even if they have to hold their noses for McCain.
Obama can still lose, of course. He could get stupid. He could turn out to be what much of the hate-mail calls him. He could be assassinated and put Hillary in the seat – which still doesn’t help the R as much, but still it can’t be called a win for Obama.
But at this point, the pundits and pollsters are probably doing the same math I’m doing, and trying to figure if they dare say Obama wins 40+ states…