The Barr Vote
3:25 PM, May 18, 2008 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
The Washington Post says McCain should be afraid:
I don't buy it. Ron Paul voters would seem to be the irreconcilables of the Republican party. They aren't going to vote McCain no matter what, but they might have voted Obama to punish their party and force a withdrawal from Iraq. If Andrew Sullivan is any indicator, supporting Ron Paul and Barack Obama are not mutually exclusive. In the absence of a third party run by Paul, or a Libertarian bid by Barr, these voters would have ended up in the Obama column. Instead we may have four anti-war candidates on the ballot--Obama, Nader, Paul, and Barr. And whatever protest vote exists within the Republican party is minuscule compared to the Democratic protest vote against Obama (see West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc.).
Barr will give anti-war voters who bitterly cling to guns and religion another option in November. If he has any impact at all, and he may not given the nature of his early attacks, he seems likely to siphon votes from Obama, not McCain.