I thought I’d offer a little California presidential ballot trivia before the election recedes too far into our memories (and what memories those will be!).
I have noted before how we had such a strong field of minor-party candidates, based on purely objective criteria (name recognition, prior electoral experience, etc.). The field included two former congressmen (former Republican Bob Barr as the Libertarian candidate and former Democrat Cynthia McKinney as the Green candidate) as well as Ralph Nader (here as the Peace and Freedom Party candidate; in most states he is running as an independent).
I did not realize till a few days before the election that we also have Alan Keyes on the ballot. I don’t know if that makes the field stronger still or not, but Keyes certainly is well known. He has sought the Republican nomination in the past.
Further, this marks the second time Keyes and Obama have faced each other. Keyes was the Republican Party’s late “desperation” candidate drafted to run against Obama in his Senate bid in 2004.
Keyes is the candidate of the American Independent Party in California. Normally, I believe this party nominates the same presidential candidate as the Constitution Party. The Constitution Party’s candidate–who is not on this state’s ballot–is Chuck Baldwin, who earlier had received the endorsement of Ron Paul.
Best of all, Alan Keyes is also invoking Joe the Plumber! (Well, you will have to take my word for it; the reference to JTP is now gone from the site.)
Of course, this field also means that three of the six tickets are headed by an African-American.
And, the results for this “strong” field of third-party/independent candidates:
Alan Keyes (AI) 30,586 0.3%
Cynthia McKinney (Grn) 28,431 0.2%
Bob Barr (Lib) 51,096 0.5%
Ralph Nader (P&F) 80,993 0.8%
A lot of good their prior electoral experience and/or name recognition did them!