Ralph Nader apparently isn’t going to be a spoiler again this year–at least not as a Green.

Ralph Nader, the third-party candidate viewed by many Democrats as the spoiler of the 2000 election for taking votes away from Al Gore, has decided not to run on the Green Party ticket next year, a party spokesman said Tuesday.

Nader, who garnered nearly 3 percent of the national vote in the last presidential election, has not ruled out running for president as an independent and plans to make a decision by January.

“I think we’re all a little bit disappointed,” said Scott McLarty, a Green Party spokesman. “I suspect Mr. Nader would have gotten the nomination.”

Nader called party officials Monday to inform them of his decision, said Ben Manski, a Green Party co-chairman and spokesman. Nader’s reasons were not clear, Manski said.

Interesting. While I’d like to have Nader in the race as a cushion to help President Bush get re-elected, having a pure two-man race is preferable systemically. What I don’t quite get is why Nader would decide not to run as a Green but not close the door on running, period.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Isn’t it obvious? Nader is really the Democrats’ savior waiting in the wings for the brokered convention when the establishment finally decides to Do Something about the Dean insurgency.

  2. Ed Thibodeau says:

    I am also surprised that Nader might run as an independent rather than a Green. Without the Green infrastructure it is quite unlikely he will get on the ballot in all states. I think he has already decided not to run, but can’t bring himself to get off the stage.

  3. John Lemon says:

    He’s not running as a Green because he really might be Red.

  4. Paul says:

    What I don’t quite get is why Nader would decide not to run as a Green but not close the door on running, period.

    You ain;t trying to figure Ralph Nader’s behavior out are you? You know the doctor warned you about that. 😉

  5. John says:

    Maybe he’ll endorse a Democrat. Seriously- he’s got a lot of the same constituency as Howard Dean. Maybe Ralph will endorse Howard.

    I’ve always thought Nader should run as a Democrat. He’d do far better than Dennis Kucinich and Carol Mosley-Braun (hey, 2% more is a lot at their level), and maybe better than Al Sharpton. National exposure and a chance to show real electoral strength in the primary. Imagine Ralph Nader in the televised debates. I’ve never understood why he’s a Green. Of course, I’m working from the basis that he actually wants to accomplish something. As a Green, he got to spout off with no need to try to win votes. That would require changing his views in public. Maybe that’s it. His current schtick is that the two parties disenfranchise people by not allowing other choices. I think he can’t face up to losing in any game that is not (in his mind) 100% rigged against him. A Democratic primary would be a lot more fair than the general election, so he avoids it. This way he can be the voice in the wilderness, even though the wilderness is really Central Park- surrounded by liberals. It’s easy to get out. Most liberals who are receptive to Nader are Democrats. Wake up and join a real party, Ralph.