Oliver Hall, attorney for Ralph Nader, was wrong in contending that Nader did not cost Al Gore the 2000 presidential election [“Blaming the third-party candidate,” Letters to the Editor, Feb. 1].
Hall pointed to a litany of “independently sufficient” causes for Gore’s defeat, including the electoral college, the Supreme Court and faulty ballots in Florida. Each contributed to the “perfect storm” ending in the presidency of George W. Bush, but the removal of any one of those elements (for example, if the Supreme Court had allowed the recount to continue) would likely have put Gore in the White House. This is also true of Nader’s doomed-to-fail candidacy.
Nader won enough votes in two states — Florida and New Hampshire — to put either of them in Gore’s column. Nader won 97,488 votes in Florida, which easily could have swung the election to give Gore the state’s 25 electoral votes, and there would have been no need for a recount. Even without Florida, adding Nader’s 4 percent of the New Hampshire vote to Gore’s 47 percent would have given Gore a 270 to 267 victory in the electoral college.
Bill Yue, Arlington