Debunking Pathological Myths of the 2000 Election: Part 3 – Polling data proves that Nader voters did not “switch sides” during the campaign
Kevin Zeese pointed out long ago that 62% of Nader’s voters were Republicans, independents, third-party voters and nonvoters.
In other words, these were not Democrat voters who switched sides. This is completely corroborated by the exit poll data from CNN.
Progressive Review did a review of national and Florida polls to quantify exactly how many votes Nader took from Gore.
The premise was to look at polls leading up to the election; what should have happened was that Gore and Nader’s poll changes would be inversely correlated. That is, as Nader’s poll numbers rose, Gore’s should have fallen by a proportional amount, and vice versa.
Needless to say, that’s not what the study showed.
In fact, it showed exactly what you’d expect from a candidate who had little exposure or money to make a blitz of attack ads: Nader’s poll numbers were pretty much unchanged for the duration of the election cycle. This means his effect on Gore’s total is statistically insignificant.
For example between August and September 2000 Gore’s average poll results rose 7.5 points but Nader’s went down only 1 point. Between September and October, Gore’s average went down 5.7 points and Nader’s went up .8 points. At least 85% of Gore’s changes were due to something other than Nader.
What the study did show was that Gore took votes from Bush.
Nader’s support was fixed, but Bush and Gore took votes away from each other the whole time. In fact, Gore was behind for quite some time, but caught up towards September by taking Bush’s votes, and faded away in October.
And in the last months, it was clear many Nader voters began to come into Gore’s camp at the last minute:
During almost all of 2000, Bush led Gore with the major acception of a month-long period following the Democratic convention. During this high point for Gore, Nader was pulling a running average of 2-4% in the polls. While it is true that during October, Nader began pulling a running average of 6% at a time when Gore was fading, Gore continued to lose ground even as Nader’s support dropped to its final 3%. In other words, despite the help of defectors from Nader, Gore did worse.
CNN’s exit poll showed Bush at 49 percent and Gore at 47 percent, with 2 percent not voting in a hypothetical Nader-less Florida race.
I ask again to the myth supporters, do you have any polling data or studies that refute the points made here? Not the opinion of a pundit, but actual verifiable data?
Progressive Review study:
FL exit poll data: