Home General Cynthia McKinney Will be on Ballot for 70.5% of Voters

Cynthia McKinney Will be on Ballot for 70.5% of Voters

This year, Cynthia McKinney will be on the ballot in states that cast 70.5% of the national popular vote in 2004. This is the second best ballot access showing in the party’s history. Only 2000 was better for the Green Party.

Of course, the exact state-by-state distribution of the 2008 national popular vote will be slightly different than it was in 2004. Using the 2004 vote totals is the best approximation one can make at this point.

In 2004, presidential nominee David Cobb had been on the ballot before 54.8% of the voters. In 2000, Green nominee Ralph Nader had been on before 90.5% of the voters.

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  1. Eric

    It’s still sad that they aren’t on 45 states like Nader is. I wish Nader and McKinney could have been on the same ballot together under the Green Party. That would have been my “dream ticket”

  2. Beautiful statistic. :) A lot more meaningful than the number 33 (# of states on the ballot) would indicate at first glance. And people everywhere else except for Oklahoma can cast write-in votes for her that will be counted (presumably).

  3. Fundi

    Yea, As a Green, while I was disappointed with how few states we got on, I am hearterned that we’re on a few very populous states such as Ohio, New York, Illinois that we weren’t on in 2004. Hopefully that can push us at 1 million votes, but it still doesn’t seem likely.

  4. Sorry, make that 32 instead of 33. Hard to believe they couldn’t get a thousand signatures in Vermont. At least those folks can choose between Brian Moore and Ralph Nader for those who prefer not to cast write-in votes.

  5. Fundi

    Richard, did the Greens not collect enough signatures in Vermont? I thought they were in the safe zone? Your chart says they have a write-in there.

  6. Richard

    The Greens didn’t collect enough signatures in Vermont.

  7. Tom Yager

    Getting New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Virginia really helped. That offset losing Connecticut and Pennsylvania, which we had in 2004.

  8. I would actually argue that this is a record for the Green Party of the United States. While Nader was on more ballots in 2000, he was really only the candidate of a number of state Green Parties, many that were organized by himself under his umbrella. The national committee of the Green Party was not established and left on their own until 2001. While it might be a fine distinction, it helps recognize the national organization of the Green Party of the United States and the upward, not downward, progress they make every year.

  9. NE

    Good to see that this is an improvement over 2004.



  11. Trent Hill

    The GP did the opposite of the CP—gained large states they didnt have ballot access to in the last election. The GP gained New York, Ohio, Illinois, etc.

    The CP, on the otherhand, lost California, Pennsylvania, and Montana (our strongest state by percentage) and gained Hawaii…

  12. Tom Yager

    “The CP, on the otherhand, lost California, Pennsylvania, and Montana (our strongest state by percentage) and gained Hawaii…”

    True, but losing California wasn’t really the CP’s fault. The actions of Alan Keyes and the rogue faction of the AIP in California were, to put it mildly, sub-ethical.

  13. Tom Yager

    The Green Party picked up Illinois, Massachusetts and Nevada in 2006. Getting ballot access wherever possible in years not divisible by four makes things much easier for the Presidential campaign.

  14. Phil Sawyer

    Tom Yager Says:
    September 13th, 2008 at 5:51 pm
    “The CP, on the otherhand, lost California, Pennsylvania, and Montana (our strongest state by percentage) and gained Hawaii…”

    True, but losing California wasn’t really the CP’s fault. The actions of Alan Keyes and the rogue faction of the AIP in California were, to put it mildly, sub-ethical.

    Phil Sawyer responds:

    It is certainly predictable that when one side loses in a political battle, there will always be some person on the other side who will say that the winning side did not play fair.

  15. joell

    “I would actually argue that this is a record for the Green Party of the United States”

    this kind logic is why i left the GP.

    The GP went from 12 state ballots in 1996, to 2000(43 state ballots, 2.7 million votes,$5 million , to 2004(27 state ballots, 100k votes, $150k) to 2008(32 state ballots, $132k(thru 6/30/08) and i’ll be generous with nader on the ballot—-250k votes/

    The GP already had ballots on 21 states, so during this election cycle, so they gained only 11 additional states and didn’t qualify for federal matching funds; in fact, mckinney’s home state of GA wasn’t included among the likely states to reach the $5k minimun.

    the party had to borrow 15k from members to help pay for the 08 convention.

    and somehow, over the last 12 years, these factors indicate “the upward, not downward, progress they make every year.”

  16. Tom Yager

    “Phil Sawyer responds:

    It is certainly predictable that when one side loses in a political battle, there will always be some person on the other side who will say that the winning side did not play fair.”

    That’s very glib of you, Phil. The idea that success is its own justification is popular these days, but that does not make it right.

    I’m not even a member of the Constitution Party, but I sympathize with Baldwin and the national CP in this case. I oppose sore losers poaching ballot lines in general.

    Accepting defeat is an integral part of democracy. There is a term for demanding the right to participate in a democratic process and not accepting the responsibility to abide by the results: Something for nothing.

    If state parties blow off the results of national nominating conventions whenever they feel like it, then what is the point of having conventions or even national parties for that matter?

    Imagine if the state Democratic and Republican parties placed the winners of their primaries and caucuses on the ballot. Obama would be on the ballot in barely enough states to have a chance at winning the Electoral College. In the very likely event that he didn’t run the table in these states, the election would be thrown into the House of Representatives. Clinton could very well end up with more Electoral Votes than Obama!

    State-by-state matchups would include:

    AZ, CA, FL, OH, PA, NY, TX: Clinton vs. McCain
    AR, TN: Clinton vs. Huckabeee
    MA, NV: Clinton vs. Romney
    IL, NC, VA, WI: Obama vs. McCain
    ME, MN, ND, UT: Obama vs. Romney
    AL, GA, IA, LA, NE: Obama vs. Huckabee

    I think that we can all see how silly this is.

  17. Rich

    According to the Vermont Green website, they have chosen to endorse Ralph Nader. Why they have chosen to go against the Green Party’s nomination in McKinney is beyond me. You can contact them here:


  18. Joell,

    I think you may have missed my original point. Ralph Nader was on a large number of ballots in 2000 – I argue that this was due to his appeal, long history of organization, huge mailing list, network of national contacts, etc. The fact that he was able to get onto more ballots in 2008 without the support of any national party proves the point. The Green Party of the United States – the federally-recognized national committee of the Green Party that funds and organizes ballot access efforts for the Presidential campaign – did not exist in 2000. It just didn’t. So when analyzing the success of the Green Party in winning ballot access, I am arguing that you can’t include 2000 in the timeline, because the 2000 campaign was based on Nader’s organization, not the Green Party of the United States’. Factually it could not be.

    I’m sorry that you’re not a member of the Green Party anymore. I am, and when I think about how my party is doing in terms of ballot access, I want to think about how the current organizational structure has developed since it came into existence in 2001. Comparing the current structure to a Nader-organized group of state Green Parties with no federal organization is not appropriate.

    As for the $15,000 convention loan, I have two points. First, the Green National Committee only authorized a loan – it did not have to take out $15,000 in loans. Second, even though they got millions in taxpayer subsides to fund their conventions, the Republican and Democratic Parties both took millions more in personal loans to fund their conventions. So even if the GP did have to authorize but not take out $15,000 in loans, so what?

  19. joell

    So Nader is recruited in 2k,the GP revels in the success of his candidacy, and now, 8 yrs later, its not to be included on the yardstick for measuring party progress?

    The GP has simply replaced Nader with Mckinney; and as with Nader, her supporters are mistaken for GP supporters and “party progress”

    For the sake of discussion, lets focus on the post Nader GP era.

    IN 04, a nobody was nominated,with disastrous results. In 08, a person of stature was nominated, and there will be a modest improvement over 04. And after the election and Mckinney leaves the GP, so will her supporters; the same thing happened with Nader in 2k

    A true measure of the current GP is revealed by substituting either of Mckinney’s two main opponents for the nomination. Kat Swift raised a total of $232; and we’re talking about someone who’s running for president of the united states.

    you can focus on “how the current organizational structure has developed since it came into existence in 2001″, but without Mckinney, there would be an 04 Cobb repeat or worse.

  20. NE

    I do not think that Cynthia McKinney will be leaving the Green Party after the 2008 election. I am guessing that she will be the 2012 presidential candidate as well.

  21. Your arguments keep proving my point, Joell. If McKinney were not the nominee, one of the lesser-known candidates would be it, without the name recognition and fundraising ability of a former member of Congress. But that nominee would still be on the ballot in 32 states. Because the ballot access work was done by the national and state party organizations, not the Presidential nominee. The vast majority of our ballot lines were won before the nomination was made by Green Party supports – not Nader supporters, not McKinney supporters, not Swift supporters. (Or rather, by all of them together.) That is “the true measure” of the current Green Party.



  23. Phil Sawyer

    Tom Yager:

    Nevertheless, any state party always has the legal and moral right to secede from the national party.

  24. Ron Ralph

    A sea change as citizens see their savings disappear.

    nader paul kucinich gravel
    Open the damn debates!
    mckinney ventura
    perot charts

  25. While the number of ballots we are on is important, the primary value of the McKinney/Clemente campaign in 2008 is buildling with different constituencies than we did before.

    There was absolutely no way after Florida 2000, Obama in 2008 and eight years of the press blaming us for Bush, that McKinney (or Nader, or McKinney/Nader) was going to get 5% of the national popular vote in 2008.

    Therefore, the key strategic value in 2008 for running on the presidential level was to make an additional and complementary statement about who we are, to what we did in 1996, 2000 and 2004, in terms of who we chose to be on our ticket.

    Running Nader again would not have done that. McKinney/Clemente does do that.

    Ballot lines and votes are important – but the nature of our electoral system understates our support because it disincentivizes people from voting for us and the ballot lines are unfairly hard to come by.

    Therefore we have to see what kind of statement we are making with out nat’l ticket, to people who may support us for the next 50 years. And after having Nader as our standard bearer (and I was proud of it), we needed to say something new, if we wanted to grow in the breadth of who we are.

    For the long term growth of our party, we made the right choice in 2008.

  26. Will Yeager

    The proposition the Green Party’s long term interests are served by running Cynthia McKinney instead of Ralph Nader is a non-starter. When the post election analysis happens and it is seen in how many of the states that the Green Party retains ballot status under a McKinney candidacy compared to how many would have been retained under a Nader Candidacy, there will be regrets that the elitist greens were able to once again subvert the expressed democratic vote of the rank and file of the Green Party.

    The California Green Party is floundering as a result of the Nader haters manipulation of the National Green Party by giving delegates to paper state without greens. The recent Dana Point Plenary was poorly attended in an urban area and follows the low attendence of the April Berkeley Plenary, both of which occurred after Nader wisely chose to not contest a process that was stacked against him. The one green one vote principle has been abused as can be seen by the actual votes in a primary and delegates sent ratios in a report prepared by Chuck Giese.

    Complementary statements are well and good, but its the nuts and bolts of ballot status and votes that make a party work. The activity level in the Green Party is down as a result of the way McKinney was pre-choosen by the National Green Party elite. An example of this is that the California Green Party may not even publish an issue of its newspaper before this November’s election.

    The long term interests of the Green Party would have been better served by running Nader in 2008. There is no significant new organizing in communities that are complementary to the urban, white middle to upper class groups that make up the current membership of the Green Party.

    Green Party Voter Registration is down in California, the inter-party feud in up and matters seem not to be getting better.

    I hope that there is a lot of soul searching after this November’s election that causes the Green Party to reinvent its current incarnation to avoid a slide into such relevancy as the Peace & Freedom Party has.

  27. Matthew

    There needs to be some sort of green/left/independent coalition in the future. Going it alone isn’t working. Nader and McKinney have pretty much the same platform. Why split votes between them? With that said, since Nader is on the most ballots, and is the most visible candidate whose issues I agree with, this GP member is voting for the Ralphster in 08!

  28. Sean

    I am also a GP member who is voting for Nader in 08! Ralph is the reason I joined the GP. He is a far bigger name nationally. I went to his rally last week and saw other GP members who are voting for him. I think Matthew is right and the GP should have backed him when he has more supporters and raised more money than 2000, along with being on more states. I think he would have helped the party after this election, especially with poor showing by Cobb. I can see how they want to run another name other than Ralph, but if there is poor showing this year that won’t help. Vote Nader!

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