Monday, May 19, 2008

Knowhutimean, Verney?


Over at The Atlantic Monthly, Marc Ambinder reproduces Russ Verney's "Barr Strategy Memo," a fundraiser I also received by email earlier today.

The interesting part is Verney's timeline on Ross Perot's 1992 campaign, linked with Verney's assessment that "I believe Congressman Bob Barr has the same potential."

early October: 7% in national surveys
Mid October: wins televised Presidential debate
late October: 12% in national surveys
election day: captures 19% of national vote


Problem is -- as Verney almost certainly knows -- that Perot's 1992 and 1996 performances brought about a change. The "big debates" are now controlled by a bi-partisan (not "non-partisan" -- it's strictly a duopoly preservation tool) Commission on Presidential Debates, and that commission has different standards:

The CPD's third criterion requires that the candidate have a level of support of at least 15% (fifteen percent) of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recent publicly reported results at the time of the determination.


If Barr performs to Verney's assessment of his potential, he almost certainly won't be invited to debate his major party opponents, even if -- as seems unlikely -- he's able to secure the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

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