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"Democrats' Legal Challenges Impede Nader"

The New York Times reports: Ralph Nader's efforts to get his name on presidential ballots in important swing states are becoming mired in legal challenges and charges of fraud by Democrats who have mounted an extensive campaign to keep him from becoming a factor in this year's election.

Recent polls show that Mr. Nader could draw at least 2 or 3 percent of the vote in more than a dozen states where the race now appears close enough for him to alter the outcome, most likely to the detriment of Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee, and in favor of President Bush.

With Republicans in several states acknowledging that they are bankrolling and gathering signatures for Mr. Nader, local Democratic parties across the country, aided by a group of lawyers calling themselves the Ballot Project Inc., have initiated mini-campaigns to stop him, state by state.

"The Democrats are making this as difficult and as debilitating for him as possible, making him expend blood, sweat and tears for every inch," said Charles E. Cook Jr., a nonpartisan analyst who tracks races in every state. "He has only so many hours in the day and so many resources. And to the extent that he's tied up trying to get on the ballots, he's not getting any kind of message across." -- Democrats' Legal Challenges Impede Nader