Re: Barr... Less of a Threat to McCain - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Re: Barr… Less of a Threat to McCain

To have a real impact on the race, Bob Barr has to be able to do two things that are both in tension with each other. He needs to mobilize Ron Paul’s grassroots supporters and donors. Without those people, he isn’t going to have a base much larger than the 300,000-400,000 people who normally vote Libertarian. He also isn’t going to have the money to spread his message, the people doing canvassing to get out the vote, and the volunteer base to run a more serious than usual third-party campaign. But to threaten McCain and get an even larger number of votes, he needs to reach out to the Rush Limbaugh Republicans.

Barr is obviously attempting to do both with mixed results. If he only appeals to the talk-radio crowd, he will lose money, momentum, and the benefits of energetic activists — and have to rely totally on voters who won’t do much for him and are most likely to gravitate back to McCain in a close race. If he only appeals to the Ron Paul Republicans, his vote totals can be larger than the usual Libertarian but potentially not big enough — or taken from the right places — to effect the outcome of the presidential race. If Barr is seen as too close to the Code Pink antiwar types, he will alienate the Rush Limbaugh Republicans. If he is too conventionally conservative and insufficiently antiwar, he will lose the Ron Paul Republicans. It’s a delicate balance but it makes sense that he try to reach it.

Liberal writer John Nicholas takes a somewhat different view.

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