A vote for Nader is a vote for ..

Kerry!

Thom Hartmann described yesterday a scheme that might let Ralph run in every state he wants to run in and to run as hard as he can everywhere while actually helping the Democratic nominee. Simply put, Thom suggested that Nader choose Kerry’s electors as his own. Thom’s idea is not quite good enough for me — it’s just another way for Nader to be marginalized. BUT, if Kerry and Nader agree to a symmetrical arrangement, where the electors are pledged to vote for whichever of the two candidates receives the plurality of the popular votes in their states, then even a die-hard ex-Democrat like me would go for it enthusiastically. A trivial, but greatly effective, form of instant runoff voting.

Nader would of course lose everywhere to Kerry, who would get all the electoral votes, but Ralph (and his supporters) would get the right to say, almost certainly with some truth, that they were the Democrats’ margin of victory.

Interesting. Unlikely, but interesting. (The DLC and their ilk would never permit it, of course.)

UPDATE: Thanks to commenters and The Decembrist, it’s clear this idea doesn’t work. The winner-take-all electoral vote system disallows pooling of electors. The US electoral system once again defeats democracy. Guess I’ll just have to throw the election to Bush again. Disappointing.