Ralph Nader is back in the hunt for president and his candidacy could make Florida an even more crucial state in deciding our next president, but Florida democrats fear Nader will pull votes away from the democratic nominee just like he did in four years ago.
Democrats have launched a national Internet campaign to convince Ralph Nader not to run for president.
The website www.ralphdontrun.net highlights how Nader's candidacy affected the Florida election when the consumer advocate pulled nearly 100,000 votes.
George W. Bush went on to win the state by just 537 votes. Scott Maddox is the chairman of the Florida democratic party and he's furious that Ralph Nader may thwart the democrat's chances of taking back the White House.
“This is about his own self-interest and his own ego. He reminds me of another American who did very well in the service of his country and then later decided to go towards his own self interest rather than the interest of his country. Ralph Nader is the Benedict Arnold of Modern Democracy,” says Scott Maddox, Chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.
Republicans may be secretly delighted by Nader's decision, but state republican party chairman Carole Jean Jordan says it's hard to take Nader seriously as a candidate because he waited so long to get into the race.
“You either have your beliefs on who you are and what you believe in and where you come from or you don't. So is he just looking for publicity? I have no idea,” says Carole Jean Jordan.
Political analysts say whoever wins Florida in November will likely take the election, so Nader's candidacy now raises the stakes even higher for Florida, if he gets on the ballot.
Florida State University political scientist Lance de Haven Smith agrees the Nader candidacy mean a repeat of election 2000.
“It could certainly have the same effect if he gets on the ballot in a number of other states that are close and he pulls votes from the other democrats, given how close the elections have been, I think that it could be the deciding factor,” says Lance.
With even his former Green Party colleagues urging him not to run, it remains to be seen whether Nader's candidacy will go beyond the headlines.
Ralph Nader says he's running for president because Americans need an alternative to the two parties that now dominate national politics.