The race for Robert Byrd’s senate seat is a statistical dead heat so, if John Raese wins, he may have West Virginia’s Mountain Party to thank for his victory.
The Mountain Party on The Left and the Tea Party movement on The Right have a lot in common: they want to send a message to a major party more than they want to defeat candidates who are their ideological opposites.
Third party candidates have always been spoilers. People forget that it was a strong third party bid by Ross Perot that made Bill Clinton’s 1992 upset of incumbent, George H W Bush possible. And though he denies it, Ralph Nader’s presence on a ballot hurts Democrats more than it hurts Republicans. Imagine America under a Gore administration. Take Nader off the 2000 Florida ballot and that’s the America we would have had.
If Mountain Partiers cost Joe Manchin the senate race, I hope West Virginia Democrats will realize they can’t beat Repubicans if they lose The Left. I hope if John Raese wins with the help of Mountain Partiers the Democratic Party in West Virginia will do some soul-searching and ask themselves what they can and should do to reach out to The Left and bring them back into the Democratic Party. As a Lefty myself, there's a part of me that almost hopes Jesse Johnson and his Mountain Party do cost West Virginia's Democratic Party a few big elections so West Virginia's DINOs will be forced to ask themselves why they deserve to win elections of they are indistinguishable from Republicans.