Nader and Bednarik
Todd Zywicki of Volokh asks:
According to the final tally, I see that the Libertarian Party candidate Michael Bednarik got almost as many votes nationwide as Nader. Curious that the media nonetheless covered Nader throughout the race, while ignoring Bednarik (for instance, on the Washington Post web site with the tally, you can link to background stories on Nader, but not Bednarik).
It’s my opinion that a lot was expected of Nader. He got the credit for costing Gore the election in 2000, and had a very respectable vote count. The Libertarians on the other hand have had a long history of accomplishing nothing. The anticipation of Nader spoiling another election I think was the bait. What they didn’t anticipate was the Democrats taking such harsh pre-emptive attacks by blocking Nader on many ballots. This put the media in a jam. Obviously favoring Kerry, they couldn’t fully explore the Nader issue without making Kerry look bad, so they just kept reporting on Nader as if he had some chance. He didn’t. The final result is Nader is now just as effective at getting his cause heard as Bednarik and the Libertarians are. And that’s not much of anything to report about.
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