On the other hand, the Green Party is running the total of 405 candidates in 2004, of whom slightly less than a quarter may be expected to be elected, based on the average of "victory rates" (victories/candidates) of Green candidates 1985-2003 -- thus continuing the party's steady progress in increasing its number of local officeholders despite the certainty that Cobb/LaMarche 2004 will receive fewer votes than Nader/LaDuke 2000 did. That is not an unreasonable hypothesis, as many of the Green candidates are running for nonpartisan local offices and are likely to win or lose mainly on the strengths and weaknesses of their own campaigns, regardless of the fortune of the party's presidential ticket.
- Cobb "has no paid staff and only a handful of people working on his non-effort, which he runs out of his house, using a P.O. Box, part-time."
- "The Cobb for President Meet-Ups attract all of 167 people, WORLDWIDE: up from 57 people WORLDWIDE before the convention."
- "Cobb is missing the deadline to get on the ballot in state after state, assuring that he will be on the ballot in many fewer states than the 43 that Nader was on last time."
- Cobb's ally Medea Benjamin "has written that Cobb should not campaign in 23 battleground states. Assuming Cobb gets on the ballot in 33 states -- a reasonable assumption -- this mean Cobb will be running a 10 state or less non-campaign."
- "So far he has raised about $150,000, around what is needed for a medium-sized town council race."
- "Cobb's VP candidate, Pat LaMarche, when campaigning in her home state of Maine, announced at a press conference that she was NOT committed to voting for her running mate, David Cobb, and would vote for Kerry unless Kerry was 70 points ahead in Maine, in which case she could safely vote for Cobb. Well, since Kerry is not going to win any state by 70 points, that means LaMarche will not be voting for the top of her own ticket."
- Cobb "will get, at most, 250,000 votes nationwide. This means Cobb will have shrunk the Green Party to 1/10 of its size in terms of votes (Nader received 2.7 million in 2000) and to less than 1/20 of its size in terms of money raised."
The question is whether the Green Party's local progress and national retreat is a one-time event, a temporary concession to the Democratic Party's aggressive Anybody But Nader campaign against a prominent left-wing alternative to John Kerry, or it becomes a precedent which will define the Green Party's future, effectively making it irrelevant in national politics. If the former, leftists who want a party of the working class and our allies can make the Green Party our home, working within it to make it a viable challenger to the Democratic and Republican Parties in national politics in 2008, recruiting activists and organizers for it out of such social movements as movements against the occupations of Iraq and Palestine. If the latter, however, we may have to conclude that the Green Party is going the way of other recent attempts at third-party building like the Labor Party and create a new political party willing to fight for the allegiance of working-class voters in not just one-party states but also battleground states, expanding the scope of working-class political participation and challenging rank-and-file Democrats at odds with the Democratic Party elite to join us.
After the November election, leftists inside and outside the Green Party who are discontent with the Green Party's AWOL from national politics in 2004 should get together and discuss what is to be done.