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Opening Arguments

19 percent or better

I don't think much of Arnold Schwarzenegger's "creative centrism" (see earlier post), but I caught him on ABC's "This Week" yesterday, and he made an intriguing point: Independents are becoming more numerous and therefore more important to the political process. They will likely play a big role in the 2008 presidential race.

I wonder if 2008 will be a contest in which a third party will make a big difference. I think a case could be made. We're going to spend all of this year hearing about Democratic and Republican candidates that aren't all that compelling to begin with, so we're going to start the actual campaign season with a huge dose of voter burnout. That should create a great opportunity for a third party.

And I don't mean a race that's so close that a third party's 1 or 2 percent could make the difference. I mean an electorate that's so sick and tired of the whole thing that it could give a third party the 19 percent Ross Perot got or better.


Bob G.
Mon, 01/15/2007 - 5:41am

Depends how the media will "spin" it, or even if they will allow equal air (or print) time to a third party...

We already KNOW that a lot of the media leans to the left.

I'm all for a third party, personally.

It's still going to need some serious cajones to keep pace with the other two (from a media and marketing standpoint), because we all know it's all about HOW DEEP your pockets are (and how good a liar you can be sometimes).


N. Hanks
Tue, 01/16/2007 - 9:58am

We'll see, Leo, but I'm real glad you're bringing that up! As the Wall Street Journal pointed out the day before the Nov. election, independents now number 42% of the electorate. We know we have the numbers, and if a major candidate emerges who speaks for independents, we will certainly get the 19%--or more! But if there are no takers, we need to continue to organize at the grassroots so that independents, and the American people can be heard. -NH

Trevor Stasik
Wed, 01/24/2007 - 8:47am

Where is our next Ross Perot? We need someone that can preach "fiscal responsibility" and mean it. We have fixed none of the problems that Ross Perot talked about over a decade ago. We continue to creep perilously close to a national financial bankruptcy. The answer is to cut programs and raise taxes. Diets are no fun, but the nation needs to go on a financial one. We need a new Ross Perot more than ever.

tim zank
Wed, 01/24/2007 - 8:57am

Trevor, your half right, we need to cut programs...period....lots and lots of programs.....