Jill Stein of the Green Party faces an uphill battle in the race for the US presidency

The Green Party in the U.S. is to hold its nominating convention for president August 6 and 7th in Houston, Texas. The convention is expected to nominate Jill Stein as its presidential candidate.

The party has a new unofficial slogan: "Jill not Hill". While the party is said to be getting more media coverage that any Green Candidate since 2000 when Ralph Nader ran for the Greens, it is not very much. Media coverage is overwhelmingly on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate and Jill Stein are rarely mentioned. However she will have a prime time town hall on CNN August 17. This event will be helpful for Stein who is the least well known of the two main third party candidates. Gary Johnson the Libertarian candidate is a former governor of New Mexico.
Stein had hoped that she could reach out to Ohio Senator Nina Turner as a vice-presidential running mate but was turned down. Instead, she chose left-wing activist Ajamu Baraka. Stein also failed to get a bounce in the polls from the Democratic Convention when Sanders threw his support behind Hillary Clinton. In spite of showing up at rallies hoping to attract some Sanders' supporters and even getting the help of Sanders supporter Cornel West there was little movement in her polls before and after the convention.
According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll Steins' support dropped from six to five percent after the convention. A CNN poll had her edging up from three to five percent. A McClatchy/Marist poll showed her moving from five to six percent. Among supporters of Sanders Clinton's share rose from 57 to 69 percent in the CNN poll while in the McClatchy-Marist poll there was a jump from 57 to 65. There was no movement in Stein's share which remained at 13 percent. Gary Johnson the libertarian is taking ten percent of Sanders' supporters votes. He is also getting more media attention than Stein.
David Weigel of the Washington Post claims that many leftists over thirty are still worried about voting for the Green Party since Ralph Nader's run in 2000 is blamed for helping elect George Bush. They do not want to end up helping elect Trump. Research shows that voters are more likely to vote for a third party in areas where it is clear that one or the other of the main parties will win even if many do vote for a third party.
The Green Party is hoping that it can win at least five percent of the popular vote so that it will qualify for public campaign funds that party officials estimate would total more than $10 million dollars. While Stein predicts she will be on the ballot in 46 states, others were more pessimistic. Ballot Access News Publisher, Richard Wingernotes that Stein failed to meet requirements in Indiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The percentages at present are just sufficient for Stein to qualify but third party candidates often have peak support early and many appear to decide to vote for one of the two major parties as the election approaches nearer. In his run Nader peaked at six to eight percent support but ended up with only 2.74 percent in the actual election.
Stein does not have the cash to buy many ads and media coverage nor does she have the celebrity status of Trump who gets plenty of free publicity even though much of it is negative. Stein has purchased $575,000 in broadcast and cable TV time and has raised more than in her entire 2012 campaign. However, Clinton has raised more than $250 million.
Stein has flirted with the type of Trump tactic of saying something that will get people upset and thus gain him publicity, but it backfired. On Mother's Day she tweeted: “I agree w/ Hillary, it’s time to elect a woman for President. But I want that President to reflect the values of being a mother.” It worked in that she got an immediatestrong backlash from feminists. However, her immediate reaction was to be defensive and apologize not a Trump-type tactic at all. She said that she was not criticizing Hillary as a mother but as a war-monger.
Stein is not given to passionate radical outbursts. Perhaps this can be left to her team mate Baraka who criticized the family of Muhammed Ali for inviting "Bill Clinton, the rapist and petty opportunist politician" to deliver the eulogy. While some Republicans will support Stein rather than Trump, Clinton or Johnson, they are not likely to change her percentage support significantly. It remains to be seen if Stein will be able to gain enough support to qualify for public funds a result that could help the party survive and build for the next contest.


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