My Attempt at Trying to Guess Rocky Anderson’s Final Vote Total

Aside from who actually wins and whether or not Gary Johnson manages to break through the one-million vote mark, one of the most interesting things on election night for me will be to see how well Rocky Anderson performs.

I disagree with Anderson on almost every issue politically, but I admire what he’s done in trying to create the Justice Party out of the ashes of Ralph Nader’s four consecutive presidential bids.

Since this is a totally new entity with no track record at all, and Anderson has had big trouble raising funds to conduct much of a national campaign, it’s hard to know how well he might actually perform. As a curiosity, I decided to see if I could approximate how many votes Anderson will poll ahead of time.

To come up with a prediction, I took all 15 of the states where Rocky is going to appear on the ballot and checked to see how many votes Ralph Nader got in just those states as an independent in 2008. The result was 240,925 votes.

Obviously, Nader is far better known and there’s no way to realistically expect that Anderson will perform anywhere nearly as well.

So I applied some made-up filters.

In Utah, Rocky’s home state, I would think that Anderson might actually outperform Ralph Nader’s 2008 effort. But with Mormon super-star Mitt Romney also on the ballot in Utah, I had no confidence in this prediction so I decided to just assign Anderson the same number of votes that Nader polled in 2008.

In Connecticut, I gave Anderson 75% of Nader’s total since Jill Stein is not on the ballot.

In any other states in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones, I assigned Anderson 50% of Nader’s vote totals from 2008. These states have a higher concentration of Mormons and Anderson should be a little more well-known as the former mayor of one of the larger cities in the region.

In any states in the Eastern and Central Time Zones, aside from Connecticut, I gave Anderson credit for only 20% of Nader’s 2008 showing.

Further complicating things are the 20 or so states, including California, New York, Illinois and Texas, where Anderson will be a qualified write-in candidate. Just as a guess, I assumed another 10,000 votes will be cast for him across all of those states combined.

The results of this little thought experiment are detailed below…

Washington – 29,489 for Nader = 14,745 for Anderson
Oregon – 18,614 for Nader = 9,307 for Anderson
Idaho – 7,175 for Nader = 3,588 for Anderson
Utah – 8,418 for Nader = 8,418 for Anderson
Colorado – 13,352 for Nader = 6,676 for Anderson
New Mexico – 5,327 for Nader = 2,663 for Anderson
Minnesota – 30,152 for Nader = 6,030 for Anderson
Louisiana – 6,997 for Nader = 1,399 for Anderson
Michigan – 33,085 for Nader = 6,617 for Anderson
Tennessee – 11,560 for Nader = 2,312 for Anderson
Florida – 28,128 for Nader = 5,626 for Anderson
Connecticut – 19,162 for Nader = 14,372 for Anderson
Vermont – 3,339 for Nader = 668 for Anderson
New Jersey – 21,298 for Nader = 4,260 for Anderson
Rhode Island – 4,829 for Nader = 966 for Anderson

+ 10,000 write-in votes
Rocky Anderson – 97,647 votes

A couple of notes: I think the numbers for Rocky in Florida and New Jersey may be a little too high, while he might actually perform a bit better than I predict in Vermont and Utah. Overall, my best guess scenario suggests the possibility that the Justice Party might poll over 100,000 votes in their first outing, a somewhat impressive feat if they can pull it off.

The above numbers are all guesses, made primarily for my own entertainment. I used to do these kinds of prediction threads on Third Party Watch from time to time and my numbers were usually WAY off in the final calculation, so take everything I’ve laid out with a grain of salt.

If anyone else cares to take a shot at predicting how many votes Rocky Anderson will get in November, or poke holes in my numbers and call me an idiot, feel free to post away in the comments section below.


  1. Pingback: How Do You Define a Successful Third Party Candidacy?

  2. charlottescot says:

    I am not sure I understand the point of this article. No one thinks Rocky Anderson will win this election (including Rocky Anderson.) The point of running is to talk about the issues scrupulously avoided by the corporate owned and controlled Republicans and Democrats. Drones, climate change, America becoming a plutocracy, senseless wars, loss of liberty through government laws like NDAA, the federal ability to seize bank accounts, the anti-protest dissent legislation, the need for a single payer health care system, the lack of justice for the Wall Streeters who created millions of foreclosure and loss of jobs… I could go on.
    A couple points re your article. Ralph Nader supports Rocky Anderson and not the Green Party, and you say, “fellow Mormon Mitt Romney.” Rocky Anderson is not a Mormon. He left the church a number of years ago because of its stand on Civil Rights.

    • Austin Cassidy says:

      I don’t think I said anywhere that Nader endorsed or supports Jill Stein. Although, to be fair, there is a little bit of a question about the degree to which Nader actually “endorsed” Rocky Anderson.

      Nader does “support” Anderson.

      As to Anderson leaving the Mormon church, I’m not sure what the reality is on that. I’ve found a number of articles that identify him as a “lapsed Mormon” or a non-practicing LDS church member. But other places where he’s identified as agnostic. Whatever the actual case, suggest he is an outright Mormon is an overreach. I’ve revised above.

      The point of this post? I’d suggest re-reading this line: “The above numbers are all guesses, made primarily for my own entertainment.”

  3. Interesting article. If I may pick Mr. Cassidy’s brains a moment, let’s say that his number is right and Rocky Anderson gets around 100,000 votes. What do you think this means for the Justice Party? I keep thinking it’s a little too close to where the Greens are to really survive for long though I’m not really well versed on the differences between the two.

    • Austin Cassidy says:

      Not much to pick up there, so I hope you’re not too disappointed.

      I do think topping 100,000 votes might be a nice symbolic victory for the Justice Party. The real test is whether or not Anderson and the handful of people who are working with him to build this party are committed to pushing forward in 2013-2014 by recruiting candidates for state and Federal office.

      I could envision three scenarios:

      1. This is it for the Justice Party, it flames out and is never heard from again… and Rocky Anderson is calling himself a Democrat again by 2016.

      2. This is round 1 for Rocky… he runs again in 2016 and appears on twice as many ballots, the party continues to build-out, form new affiliates, and unite former Nader folks behind a common banner.

      3. The Justice Party continues to exist as a primarily single-state party in Utah where it runs candidates for state and local office, but the national footprint basically vanishes over the next few years.

      I would not be surprised by any of those outcomes.

      • You’re being way too modest. Your insights make a great deal of sense.

      • Actually, although I think your three scenarios are more likely, there is a tantalizing fourth scenario, which I guess I’ll split into two pathways:

        4. The success of the Justice Party continues to grow. After their disappointment with the numbers Jill Stein was able to earn in the 2012 cycle, key people in the Green Party decide to jump ship. Roseanne Barr is one such person. The ideas of the Justice Party platform appeal to enough Green Party members, that by 2016 the Justice Party continues to rise, and the Green Party ends up dissolving under the competitive pressure. In effect, the Justice Party becomes the new owner of the Green-Party-bloc.

        5. The success of the ideas of the Justice Party (the party platform) continues to grow. However, for practical ballot-access reasons, core members of the Justice Party make an alliance with the Roseanne Barr wing of the Green Party — with the goal of taking it over from the inside. By 2016 (or 2020), the coup is complete: although still *called* the Green Party, the new platform of the 2016 Green Party is pretty much just a rewrite of the 2012 Justice Party platform, and the 2016 Green Party nominee is Rocky.

        I *would* be somewhat surprised by either of these outcomes… but I think that the driving force behind either scenario#2 or scenario#3, and to some extent behind scenario#1, is competition for voters with the Green Party. Therefore, if the Justice Party wants to take on the twin-party system in the future, methinks they must first concentrate on engineering some kind of merger and/or acquisition with the Green Party.

        Along the same line of thinking, methinks the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party need to come to a reasonable compromise, and merge into a single entity… but given the ideological purity of key folks in both of those camps, what seems more likely to happen, is that the bulk of people from both those third-party groups might instead defect to the libertarian-leaning strongly-constitutionalist wing of the Republican party in 2014 and 2016. Specifically, both the libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, and the constitution nominee Virgil Goode, were former repubs… and both of them were actively seeking attention from disgruntled Ron Paul republicans, too.

  4. I happen to agree with virtually every position posited by Rocky Anderson, in contrast to the author. George McGovern, who ended his life journey this morning did not get a lot of votes but in the long run comes across as a genuine American patriot. As Tom Brokaw opined, “He remains one of the country’s most decent and thoughtful public servants.”
    Same goes for Rocky Anderson, IMO.

  5. I don’t know how accurate it is, but on Ralph Nader is listed as endorsing both Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein. Given that neither has a remote chance of winning, Nader is being practical in giving support to both candidates that are running on his legacy.

  6. He didn’t get anywhere near 97,000 votes.

    One report says he got around 40,000 votes

    He’ll probably get some more with write-ins, but not 57,000 more.

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