Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode: The Two Candidates Who Could Cost Mitt Romney Virginia, and the Election
The latest narrative in the presidential race is about Mitt Romney's comeback. Whether or not it's real or not is another story, but a part of Romney's resurgence is his worry of spoilsports. Romney knows that if he wins the general election, it won't be by a lot. Not only does every vote count, but every contender counts. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson is a known potential thorn in Romney's side, and the GOP has been working to box him out to mitigate the threat he poses to Romney's election prospects. But now there's talk of a new spoiler in the race, and his name is Virgil Goode.
Goode is a former congressman from Virginia with a multi-party history currently running on the Constitution Party ticket for president. The Constitution Party is a right-wing party with backing from some Christian conservatives. While he has next to no name recognition nationally, he is still remembered in Virginia from his time representing the 5th district as a member of the House of Representatives from 1997 to 2009. During his years as a congressman he was a Democrat, an independent, and a Republican. His name recognition in Virginia worries the Romney campaign. A recent poll indicated that Goode would receive around 2% of the votes. With polls showing Barack Obama leading Romney by at most 2.4% in this state (some polls say merely 0.3%) Romney's camp is worried that Goode could end up snagging enough votes from conservatives to swing the state's popular vote and 13 electoral votes to Obama
This is why Goode may be a bigger factor in Virginia than Gary Johnson. Although Johnson will likely garner more votes across the country than Goode, Johnson does not have the name recognition that Goode does in Virginia, which is very much in play. If this election is close, then there is a lurking fear that Goode in Virginia could be what Ralph Nader was to the Democrats in Florida during the 2000 election. The chances of Goode deciding the election are slim, but as 2000 election clearly demonstrated, crazier things have happened.