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  Iowa researcher finds Nader likely helped Gore in 2000 election
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ContributorCraverguy 
Last EditedCraverguy  Sep 30, 2009 07:32am
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CategoryStudy
News DateTuesday, September 29, 2009 01:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionNine years have passed, but many Democrats are still sore at Ralph Nader for his maverick candidacy in the 2000 election that many believe was the reason George W. Bush beat Al Gore.

But new research from a marketing professor in the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business suggests that while that claim is true, it also suggests that Nader's candidacy actually helped Gore.

"Many people would have come in supporting Nader but eventually voted for Gore, and that might not have happened if Nader had never entered the race," said William Hedgcock, assistant professor of marketing at UI.

Hedgcock's findings were recently published in the Journal of Marketing Research. His paper, "Could Ralph Nader's Entrance and Exit Have Helped Al Gore?" was co-authored with Akshay Rao of the University of Minnesota and Haipeng Chen of Texas A&M University.

In an experiment, Hedgock showed one group of test subjects two hypothetical candidates -- A and B, standing in for Bush and Gore -- and asked them to select one after providing a sample of political attributes of each. In the two-way race, Bush's stand-in won 81 percent of the vote while Gore's received 19 percent.

Another test group was shown three candidates, with a third candidate, C, to represent Nader. In the three-way race, Nader's proxy won 72 percent, Bush 28 percent and Gore didn't get a single vote.

Finally, the subjects in the second group were told that the Nader candidate was no longer available and were asked to select from the Bush or Gore stand-ins. This time, Gore received 39 percent and Bush received 61 percent.
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