Bob Barr’s online dominance slipping; McKinney, Baldwin on the rise

Last month, IPR reported that Bob Barr received a staggering 57.69% of Google News hits for all the “major” (defined very loosely) third-party and independent candidates. This month, though Barr’s lead remains commanding, it has slipped noticeably to under 50%.

Independent Ralph Nader‘s position is relatively unchanged, remaining at #2 with 35.38% vs. 34.37% last month.

In the wake of her Green nomination, Cynthia McKinney‘s share of Google News hits has taken a big leap. She still remains in a distant third, but her percentage has gone up from 2.48% to 9.33%. Chuck Baldwin remains fourth, though his percentage has also improved from 2.33% to 4.39%.

Charles Jay, Gloria La Riva, Brian Moore, Roger Calero, and Gene Amondson combine for a total of just 1.65% of all Google News hits.

  1. “Bob Barr” “Libertarian” 1346, 49.25%
  2. “Ralph Nader” “Independent” 967, 35.38%
  3. “Cynthia McKinney” “Green” 255, 9.33%
  4. “Chuck Baldwin” “Constitution” 120, 4.39%
  5. “Charles Jay” “Boston Tea” 17, 0.62%
  6. “Gloria La Riva” “Socialism” 12, 0.44%
  7. “Brian Moore” “Socialist” 11, 0.40%
  8. “Roger Calero” “Socialist” 3, 0.11%
  9. “Gene Amondson” “Prohibition” 2, 0.07%

11 thoughts on “Bob Barr’s online dominance slipping; McKinney, Baldwin on the rise

  1. FreeMarketeer

    There are obviously many reasons why the interest in Bob Barr is dwindling, but I’ll narrow them down to only two:

    1.) Bob Barr’s inconsistency as a capital (L) libertarian is showing; thus, it’s affecting his credibility and image. People who are taking a good look at his past record as a Republican congressman and his current record as a Libertarian candidate for presidential are not buying his rhetoric.

    After all, let’s face it; Barr’s a hard sell. Voters who had been exposed to the Libertarian message for years are disgusted to see a candidate who’s riding on (or at least trying to ride on) Ron Paul’s coat tails. And, suffice to say, he’s not doing a half bad job at it.

    Those same people who are disgusted with all of that are not convinced that he has a shot of winning this race, let alone get the kind of fame and respect that the party insiders have been craving for for so long. Remember we couldn’t have Mary Ruwart on the ticket because we HAD to save the Party? Remember all that nonsense about a “credible candidate”? Bob Barr’s credibility makes as much sense as Congress voting in favor of the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska.

    Hell, if we wanted a “famous candidate,” why didn’t we draft Paris Hilton? Or Lindsay Lohan? For the life of me, this nutty claim that a “credible candidate” saving the LP from any potential media embarrassment brought upon by the Ruwart campaign didn’t have any legs to stand on and still doesn’t.

    And here’s the second and final reason:

    2.) Bob Barr’s praising of the late racist Jesse Helms, while having blown over, certainly has trashed Barr’s respectability and credibility. In short, this is Barr’s fault, because he’s taken it upon himself to attach himself, the members of the Party, and the Party itself to the racist, vile, and putrid legacy of Helms. Not a good campaign move if you ask me.

    Unless anyone’s willing to dispute my findings on this, that pretty much sums up the faltering Bob Barr for President Campaign. I guess all the egg on Barr’s face has become so sticky that it’s hard for him to wipe it off.

  2. Bill Woolsey

    Your criticisms of Barr are hardly relevant to the number of Google News hits received by Barr.

    Barr’s over-broad praise of Jesse Helms created hardly a ripple. The Barr campaign is putting out many media releases. The only people who seized upon the Helms released and then tried to blow it up into Barr being a racist were a few hardcore libertarian blogs. That Barr thought Helms was a great guy wasn’t newsworthy, apparently.

    Simlarly, all of your talk about internal LP politics or what Ron Paul die-hards think is irrelevant to Barr’s media hits, and, for that matter, of concern to no more than a few hundred thousand people.

    Paul voters, as well as those shown by polls to respond favorably to his message, is a much larger group than the 70,000 or so who have shown their loyalty by joining the Campaign for liberty.

    Libertarian Party members/activists is an even smaller group.

    Drawing conclusion about the number of google new hits from matters that hardly anyone knows about is silly.

    Barr appears on national TV (cable news) several times each week. How often is Barr praising Helm’s civil rights record? Never.

  3. Steve LaBianca

    Barr may not be praising Helm’s civil rights record, but he certainly is touting support for statist, socialist lending organizations,FM and FM. While a true libertarian would call for the elimination of these, which would quickly be picked up by market entrepreneurs, Barr calls for “restructuring”.

    This line of action likely will play well with more voters than the libertarian solution(s). . .this year, but it is clearly not anywhere near a libertarian plan of action.

  4. Deran

    “after Barr’s nomination, there was a lot of coverage of his impact.”

    And I’m guessing the increase in McKinney/GP coverage is of the same sort. And, Nader, being a well-spoken perrenial, is always a good fill story during elections.

    Though, McKinney saving all her access to the MSM until just a little over 3 months to the election, was probably smart.

  5. Mike Gillis

    “Though, McKinney saving all her access to the MSM until just a little over 3 months to the election, was probably smart.”

    Why? She’s been seemingly avoiding all MSM and they’ve returned the favor. Even when she announced she did it with a YouTube video instead of a press conference.

    “Saving it” until now isn’t smart. It certainly hasn’t helped her qualify for matching funds, which has turned into a last minute scramble for her. And she’d have a helluva lot more money to do things like petition drives for the ballot. The Greens have already had to abandon one failed effort in PA.

    Imagine if McKinney had fought for more attention and channeled that extra attention and money into a drive in PA and other places?

    The stronger she came out of the gate, the more funds she would have been able to raise and the higher profile she could maintain. She could have gotten enough attention to even been included in a poll or two.

    Nader and Barr have made major efforts to engage with the press and keep their name in the papers since they announced – and though their level of coverage hasn’t been totally consistent – they’ve gotten enough people to notice that they’re running to keep their campaigns funded for important things like ballot access.

  6. Mike Gillis

    The Alter-Net folks aren’t far left.

    They’re just blind partisan Democrats. First and foremost.

    Obama could openly advocate setting kittens on fire and they’d still shill for him.

  7. G.E. Post author

    “I imagine this shift is mainly due to the simple fact that after Barr’s nomination, there was a lot of coverage of his impact.”

    That’s true. As are Deran’s comments about McKinney.

  8. green in brooklyn

    Cynthia has a major press conference in New York tomorrow – it’ll be interesting to see how much New York press she is able to attract. The convention coverage was widespread but mostly online, plus heavy Chicago coverage. Here’s to hoping she can get some coverage in print, and maybe some MSM interviews and talk shows.

  9. Thomas L. Knapp

    One thing I’ll agree with Woolsey on:

    The internal LP/libertarian movement food-fight over Barr doesn’t really affect his media profile (online or off). We’re small potatoes.

    However, Barr’s approach to interviews and issues does affect that profile, and I suspect that in addition to the dropoff from the initial “nomination honeymoon” period, we’ll continue to see him losing ground because of it.

    Interestingly, I’m going to steal a phrase from Bill Woolsey himself to explain why I think this is: Barr is not being “bold by major party standards.”

    Every time I see Barr on Fox or whatever, in addition to being about as exciting as watching paint dry, he’s timid, even by the standards of GOP and Democrat politicians over the last 20 years.

    Take, for example, his Cavuto appearance and his comments on Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. He started off with a typical basic GOP line — no bailout. Then as soon as he felt a little heat he ran for the most mealy-mouthed, non-controversial center position he could find: A nod to future “restructuring” and “congressional oversight.”

    The MSM covers third party candidates for one of two reasons: They’re potential “spoilers” or they’re offering something novel or new on policy or in character. Now that they’ve beaten both Barr’s past/character and the spoiler angle to death, they’re begining to lose interest — and that’s how it will stay unless Barr gives them some fresh meat on policy.

    Barr has remained firmly within the major party envelope on foreign policy, fiscal policy, drug policy, etc. He’s offering the electorate — and the media — a campaign that’s just a smidgen to the right of center on some issues, a mite to the left of center on others. His personality, past and alleged media savvy aren’t enough to turn that into news.

    Barr is taking the Perot “practical centrist in the guise of change” approach, but he’s not nearly as famous or eccentrically interesting as Perot, nor does he have $100 million of his own money (in 2007 dollars) to spend promoting himself like Perot did.

  10. Mike Gillis

    I think that Knapp has hit on it.

    When Barr entered that FOX interview, he was coming from a strong position, only to have the interviewer “wittle down” his position and moderate.

    It seemed like Barr started off strong and back pedaled the minute he got resistance, rather than standing his ground and maintaining a more radical position.

    I’ve never seen him do that before and it was a bit jarring.

    I’m by no means a libertarian and I have alot of policy disagreements with Barr and wouldn’t vote for him, but it hurt a bit to see him fold like that.

    I’m a third party supporter and I’d have liked to see him stand firm and give the FOX guy hell when he came at him with the standard duopoly party line.

  11. svf

    Knappster says: “Barr is not being “bold by major party standards.””

    this Barr supporter sadly agrees.

    Bob’s gotta go in guns blazing. certainly nothing to lose at this point. if his positions are stated forcefully and with passion, he can gain respect and support even among people who don’t agree with him on several issues. this was part of the Ron Paul magic.

    trying to appeal to the center and selling libertarianism as “mainstream” will not earn him conservative or “blue collar democrat” voters, it’ll earn him no voters. he needs to instead appeal to the 50% non-voting electorate who want a guy to dismantle business as usual, tell it like it is, and kick some establishment ass.

    not sure he’s cabable of this, I’m afraid…..

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