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Nader Says Kerry Will Lose, Bring the Democrats Down

September 10, 2004|Kathleen Hennessey | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Sen. John F. Kerry is going to lose the presidential election and bring Democratic congressional candidates down with him, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader said Thursday.

The Democrats, he said, have "lost the clarity of being an alternative to Bush and Cheney. This is the most vulnerable administration in many years. They're not laying a glove on them."

Nader, who won 2.7% of the popular vote in 2000, said that Kerry and his running mate, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, had hired too many campaign consultants, focused too heavily on ads and too little on grass-roots organization, and were neglecting core Democratic issues and constituencies.

"The Democrats do not win when they do not have Jesse Jackson and African Americans in the core of the campaign," Nader said.

At a recent meeting in Chicago, Nader said, Jackson expressed concern that African Americans were not the target of voter registration drives.

"That's a telltale sign that they're headed for defeat," Nader said at a breakfast for reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

Nader and his running mate, Green Party stalwart Peter Camejo, will be on the ballot in 22 states and the District of Columbia. But Democrats have mounted an aggressive effort to keep them off the ballot.

On Wednesday, a judge in Tallahassee, Fla., issued a temporary order keeping Nader off the Florida ballot as a Reform Party candidate. But in Oregon, a judge ruled Thursday that Nader's name should appear on that state's ballot this fall.

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