Bob Barr, Ralph Nader dominate online coverage of alternative candidates

The mainstream media rarely give third-party and independent candidates a fair shake — hence the need for sites like IPR and Third Party Watch. But the new media — the online media — is supposed to give candidates and parties the coverage they deserve.

If this is true, then Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr and independent candidate Ralph Nader have really outdone their competitors. Combined, Barr and Nader have a 92% share of the Google News hits out of the top 13 third-party candidates still in the running.

This analysis was performed early on the morning of June 11.

The first number listed is the number of Google News hits for the search term (see the notes below). The percentage of the total share appears last.

  1. 1,561: Bob Barr, Libertarian Party 57.69%
  2. 930: Ralph Nader 34.37%
  3. 67: Cynthia McKinney, Green Party 2.48%
  4. 63: Chuck Baldwin, Constitution Party 2.33%
  5. 23: Kat Swift, Green Party 0.85%
  6. 18: Kent Mesplay, Green Party 0.67%
  7. 17: Jesse Johnson, Green Party 0.63%
  8. 9: Gloria La Riva, Party of Socialism and Liberation 0.33%
  9. 4: Brian Moore, Socialist Party USA 0.15%
  10. 4: Roger Calero, Socialist Workers Party 0.15%
  11. 4: Charles Jay, Boston Tea Party 0.15%
  12. 3: Gene Amondson, Prohibition Party 0.11%
  13. 3: Robert Milnes, Boston Tea Party 0.11%

Notes: For candidates from the Constitution, Green, Libertarian, Boston Tea, and Prohibition parties, the search term used was “Candidate Name” “Party Name” (i.e. “Bob Barr” “Libertarian Party”). For Ralph Nader, the search term was just “Ralph Nader”,which gave him an advantage over Barr (there were about 2,300 Google News hits for just “Bob Barr”). For Brian Moore and Roger Calero, the word “Socialist” was substituted for their party name. And for Gloria La Riva, “PSL” was used.

9 thoughts on “Bob Barr, Ralph Nader dominate online coverage of alternative candidates

  1. inDglass

    To me Baldwin is the biggest disappointment. He was nominated earlier than any other candidate as far as I know. He should have drawn some support from enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters and Alex Jones listeners to help get things started. Ultimately, I think he has failed to run a campaign active enough to draw some media attention. DO something, Chuck!

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  3. Anti-Corporate

    This year presents much better opportunities for Barr and Nader to get into debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) only puts together a small number of debates, but there is a lot of interest among candidates and the public to have more. According to Rasmussen Reports, nearly 80% of people like McCain’s idea of having 10+ town hall style debates. These town hall debates would not be controlled by the CPD and thus could include more than McCain and Obama.

    With respect to getting into the debates, the presence of Bob Barr in the race could help Nader and vice versa. For one thing, since both of them are trying to get into the debates, that doubles the pressure to make the debates more inclusive. For another thing, Republicans who see Barr as a potential spoiler, will be motivated include Nader; and Democrats who are worried about Nader would be motivated to include Barr. Arguing for the inclusion of both Barr and Nader also makes it seem that the demand for inclusive debates is principled, rather than just in the interest of a single candidate.

    And if the major party candidates don’t play ball, Barr and Nader should debate one-on-one. If a debate like that (which could be moderated by Jesse Ventura and/or Mike Gravel) attracts a lot of attention and interest, that increases the pressure to put Barr and Nader in debates with McCain and Obama.

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