How Will Green Party Candidate Do Against Obama and Huckabee?

January 5th, 2008 by Ann Link

Sarah Lai Stirland blogged that “Illinois Democrat Barack Obama and Arkansas Republican Mike Huckabee surged to victory in the Iowa caucuses Thursday evening, buoyed by popular support that was bolstered by Internet activism and organization. . . . Obama’s senior campaign manager David Axelrod credited the youth vote Thursday evening for his candidate’s success.”

What does this mean for the Green Party? Common sense would suggest that a party supporting a peaceful, sustainable future would be a natural choice for young voters who have the most to lose from a planet threatened by war and global warming. However, the Green Party has yet to see the type of breakthrough that Obama experienced in Iowa against Clinton whose self identification as the frontrunner was largely accepted without question by the media.

One of the challenges the Green Party faces in getting a critical mass of votes in New York has to do with our poor position on the ballot. The Syracuse Post-Standard stated in an editorial that Syracuse Common Council¬†candidate Howie Hawkins’ name on the ballot was in “Antarctica under a swath of white space, on Row H.”

Poor coverage by the media is also an obstacle for the Green Party. Malachy McCourt, the 2006 Green Party candidate for Governor, and the other statewide candidates were not invited to the televised debates despite the fact that several fulfilled the criteria for inclusion, and many NY newspapers had no articles on their campaigns.

Some Green Party candidates break through despite the media blackout. Dave Lussier got 49.5% in his campaign for an Albany County legislature seat last fall, barely losing to a well-known candidate.

As many as seven candidates are seeking the Green Party presidential nomination this year. What will the Green Party candidate’s chances be against Iowa primary winners Obama and Huckabee if they go on to win the nomination? I welcome your comments below . . .