No one believes Nader is going to be President, but a lot of Democrats believe he can siphon off enough votes from either Hillary supporters if Barack becomes the nominee, or from Barack supporters if Hillary finds a way out of the delegate hole she's dug for herself.
Democrats used the environment as on of their central, unifying themes in the elections of 2006. Want to clean up the Earth? Vote Democrat.The polls taken over the past two weeks show John McCain beating Hillary Clinton in the general election head-to-head matchup by an average (according to RealClearPolitics.com) of 4.5 percentage points.
Those same polls show Barack Obama beating John McCain by exactly the same margin - 4.5 percentage points.
In the election of 2000, Ralph Nader got 2.7% of the vote. And that was with Mr. Enviromentalism - Al Gore - on the ballot.
Nader may well prove to be the way the supporters of whichever Democratic candidate loses the nomination show their displeasure with the Democratic Party while still supporting the issue nearest and dearest - the environment.
This election is going to come down to whether the Republicans or the Democrats do a better job of keeping their supporters' eyes on the goal and avoid internecine distractions.
Here's my dream ticket: Ralph Nader and Alan Keyes. They'd never leave the toll booth.