Ralph Nader claims he will
help defeat George Bush by pulling votes of Bush
supporters and mobilizing Democrats. This study
of every available poll shows that Nader’s
assertion is clearly untrue.
Ralph Nader asserts at essentially every campaign
appearance that this time around, he’ll
help defeat George Bush. It’s easy to see
why he’s adopted this remarkable position:
he has little choice. The fury at Bush among Nader’s
natural constituency requires him to assume such
a stand. After all, what progressive would support
helping re-elect George Bush?
But this raises a vital question: is Nader’s
We answered this question by completing a comprehensive
study of every poll that measures Bush/Kerry head-to-head
and Bush/Kerry/Nader in a three-way race. Through
May 14, there have been 37 such polls taken since
Nader declared his 2004 candidacy. Using the authoritative,
non-partisan website www.PollingReport.com,
plus all other polls found through a search at
Google , the results
Of the 37 polls reviewed, 32 show Nader hurting
Kerry, 4 show no effect, and 1 shows Nader hurting
Bush (and that by a scant 1%).
The table at right, “How Much Nader Helps
Bush,” shows all 37 polls, and for each
how much Bush gains in his margin vs. Kerry when
Nader is included. While the percentage swings
to Bush are all single-digit, the consensus is
overwhelming, directly discrediting Nader’s
In addition to national polls, we found state
and special-interest polls that similarly compared
Bush and Kerry head-to-head and with Nader added
to the mix. Here the results were even more striking.
Among other things, these polls (the first six
in the above table) show Nader flipping New Jersey
and Pennsylvania from Kerry to Bush, and causing
an 8% surge for Bush among the large Arab-American
vote in four critical swing states. These results
alone would almost certainly swing the election
The implications of these findings could be enormous.
The nation is very closely divided, and it is
extremely likely that in some battleground states,
these numbers would determine the outcome. When
a few percent of voters in a few states will determine
the next president, Nader’s independent
candidacy could well tip the balance.
The “Poll Watch 04 Study Spreadsheet”
(download Excel File, 31k) contains documentation,
source URLs, and raw data for all polls in the
study. The spreadsheet version also contains the
source graphics for the table above.
Questions or comments on the Study should be
info@DontVoteRalph.net. Media inquiries should
be directed to media@DontVoteRalph.net.
searches to 5/13/04, “News” tab, using
the following three terms: “Nader” “Head-to-head”