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.