The Coastal Packet: How Alan Caron could win this November

Monday, September 24

How Alan Caron could win this November

Sam Smith - Alan Caron could win this November by a real simple tactic: dropping out of the race. Janet Mills is currently in a virtual tie with Moody and while Caron is only pulling about 3%, that number could be crucial in the race. And, if Mills were to win, Caron's withdrawal would be - unlike independent Eliot Cutler who got LePage elected - hailed as a major contributor to her victory.

Having helped to start two third parties - the national Green Party and the DC Statehood Party - I know something about this. A lot of third party enthusiasts think it's all about taking part in elections regardless of the outcome. I call these folks the religious Greens: the manifestation of their faith becomes more important than the outcome. And values stand out more than issues. 

On the other hand, I'm a political Green. I want to use the third party in ways that make a difference. This is what we did with the DC Statehood Party and not only did we help with many issues, support for  statehood increased to three quarters of the city. Furthermore, we had members on the city council and/or school board for 25 years.

The problem when a Jill Stein or Ralph Nader runs for president, or an Alan Caron for governor, is that if the Democrat loses, they'll strongly be blamed for it, even if, as in the case Nader, the charge is a total myth.

For example, a Progressive Review study of poll results throughout the 2000 campaign found no correlation between Bush's percentage change and that of Nader except in July and August when the change was minimal.  For example, in September of 2000, Gore's average poll result went up 7.5 points over August, Nader's only declined by 1 point. Similarly, in November, Gore's average poll tally declined 5.7 points but Nader's only went up 0.8 points.

But this made little difference to the media.

My solution for third party members and independents is to stop being so damn faithful to your principles and find the best way to have an effect on politics. For example, minorities and labor union members could join the Green Party as their political home but vote however they want. They could then present the Democrats with some demands that would decide whether they go with  them or not.

It's hard as hell to beat a major party, but it's not that hard to scare them.

So my suggetion is that Alan Caron meets secretly with Janet Mills, gets her to agree to some things and then announce he is pulling out of the race. If Mills wins by a narrow margin, Caron won't be governor, but he will be a hero.

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