Former Republican Congressman Virgil Goode has made the presidential ballot in Virginia. While third party candidates rarely win much support, this could be a game-changer in Virginia and nationwide. Goode is a very conservative former six term Congressman from the equally conservative southwestern part of the state. In many ways there are two Virginias: the conservative old South and the progressive D.C. suburbs. The latter enabled President Obama to win the state in 2008 for the first time since 1964.
Goode has the name recognition to peal away several points from Romney, who is already trailing in the Old Dominion. Conservatives who hate President Obama but are unhappy with Mitt Romney as their nominee will have another choice in Virginia. It’s hard to see how Romney reaches 50% +1 with Goode and Libertarian Gary Johnson (also a former Republican) on the ballot. President Obama is already ahead in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Virginia would put him over the top even with losses in Iowa, Florida, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Ohio (all states where he is leading or tied).
Of course this is not a done deal. Even though the State Board of Elections has ruled in Goode’s favor, Republicans in Virginia are crying petition fraud. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is hoping to be the next governor of Virginia, will try to pluck Goode’s name from the ballot. Goode called the charges “absurd” in an interview. “I have to wonder about their motives in doing something like this. It sounds like they don’t want any view other than theirs out there.”