Thursday, August 16, 2012

Watching the clock tick

I really had been planning to post more this week, I swear. It was supposed to be the Nightly Candidate Update, while every other writer in the state covered Obama and Paul Ryan.

But it looks like things have been slow, with no update from the Secretary of State since Monday. Which means it'll will be very busy until tomorrow's 5 PM deadline, at least on the presidential front. Still just two names on the ballot: James Harris of the Socialist Workers and Jerry Litzel of Ames on the "I just want to see my name on the ballot" ticket.

The Greens say they mailed their petitions in Tuesday, which still leaves Rocky Anderson and Rosanne Barr unaccounted for on the near left and Socialist Stewart Alexander on the near far left. There's a couple more far-left national tickets, too.

Historically, more candidates in the same ideological niche means not just lower individual percentages, but less aggregate votes for the whole niche, in sort of an inverse square effect. I never finished grad school so I don't know how to define the regression.

The Greens made a common third party mistake in nominating the long time activist (one Jill Stein, best known for, um...  being a Green candidate) over Barr. Although in fairness, the Greens got used and burned by celebrity once by Nader. Barr compounded the problem by continuing under the "Peace And Freedom" banner. The combination of the Green label and Barr's residual celebrity would have squared, not summed, their support. Fine by me because I'm voting for the Democrat.

On the right or semi-right we've yet to see Libertarian Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party. Note that the right didn't make the same mistake as the left: they nominated relatively prominent former elected officials who are recent converts from the Republicans. Fine by me because I'm voting for the Democrat.

I think if there were a comprehensive accounting of every last vote, third place this year would be Ron Paul write ins. Other than that, Devo has recorded a song about Mitt Romney's dog.

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