I Don't Want to Spoil the Party. No, Wait: Maybe I Do.


Add North Carolina to the list of states Bob Barr could spoil for John McCain.

Barr, the Libertarian presidential candidate, was the choice of 6 percent of likely voters surveyed recently by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling. Barr drew more from presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the choice of 43 percent of those surveyed, than from Democratic candidate Barack Obama, favored by 40 percent.

(In a matchup with Hillary Rodham Clinton, McCain received 39; Clinton, 34; and Barr, 6.)

"It's a long way until the election, but the early indication is that Bob Barr's presence on the ballot could be a good sign for whoever ends up as the Democratic nominee," said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.

Third-party candidates don't usually do as well in the deep South as they do in the Upper Midwest and Mountain West. Barr's polling strength is close to (better, in this case) the strength of local Libertarian candidates, who usually run more tailored, easier-to-relate-to protest campaigns than the party's national candidate.

Semi-related: Dena Bunis talks to Ron Paul supporters in California and asks what they're going to do next.