Bob Barr Seen As Wild Card in Presidential Race!

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 06/29/2008 - 8:15pm.

A new poll in Georgia, the home state of Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr, indicates that he could deprive Republicans of critical votes in a state the GOP has carried in each of the last three presidential elections.

The InsiderAdvantage/PollPosition survey conducted in Georgia on June 18 showed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, leading Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, by just 1 percentage point. That was well within the poll's 5-point margin of error.

The same poll indicated that 6 percent of likely voters would choose Barr, who represented Georgia's 7th U.S. House District from 1995 to 2003.

Obama appears to have gained on McCain in Georgia in recent days. A June 10 Rasmussen poll -- which did not include Barr -- showed McCain leading Obama, 51 percent to 41 percent. (During the week of July 7, Rasmussen plans to conduct another poll of Georgia that will include Barr.)

Barr's candidacy should worry McCain more than Obama, said Tom Baxter, editor of Southern Political Report and senior vice president of InsiderAdvantage.

"If Georgia remains in play, then I think you look at a very difficult electoral situation for McCain nationwide," Baxter told Cybercast News Service. Barr's candidacy could even have an effect on McCain similar to the impact Ralph Nader had on Al Gore in Florida in 2000, he said.

"It only takes a fraction of the percentage of a vote in a very close election to do that," Baxter said.

Nader received more than 90,000 votes in Florida in 2000, while Gore was losing the state to George W. Bush by fewer than a thousand votes.

David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute, however, said it is unclear who Barr would take more votes away from -- McCain or Obama.

Third-party candidates have historically failed to win significant percentages of the vote in presidential elections, but Boaz said Barr has the potential to obtain 1 to 5 percent of the vote.

"There's a lot of dissatisfaction with McCain. There's a lot of uncertainty with Obama. So there's a possibility that you could find 1, 3, 5 percent of the voters who are looking for an alternative," Boaz said. "Barr looks like the alternative this year."

Shane Cory, Barr's deputy campaign manager, told Cybercast News Service that the Libertarian candidate is not approaching his presidential campaign in terms of whose race he will spoil. Instead, Barr's candidacy represents an additional option for American voters, Cory said.

"You walk down your grocery store aisle, and you can get 75 different brands of cereal," he stated. "Why is it that when you vote for president, you have to have two choices, Republican or Democrat?"

Barr promises to cut federal spending, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and replace all federal income taxes and payroll taxes with a consumption tax, such as a national sales tax.

He supports a "speedy and complete withdrawal" from Iraq, and he has urged the government to develop domestic oil resources, including those in the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve and on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Cory said Barr offers "actual, real change."

Barr, 59, a former Republican, was nominated at the Libertarian Party presidential convention on May 25. He has raised a little over $300,000 in campaign contributions, Cory said.

That amount is "not enough" to let Americans know who Barr is, Cory said, but the campaign is getting its fundraising operations in place. Additionally, Cory said, Barr hopes to be included in the presidential debates with Obama and McCain.

During his tenure in Congress, Barr served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as vice-chairman of the Government Reform Committee and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services.

Before serving in the U.S. House, Barr was the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and prior to that was an official with the Central Intelligence Agency.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has practiced law and run a consulting firm.

Kaitlynn Riely - June 24, 2008 - source

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 06/29/2008 - 8:15pm.