You most likely have never heard of Virgil Goode before this paragraph. He is a 65 year old Virginia politician who has had an interesting career, which is likely to become even more remarkable over the next two months. This week, the Virginia Board of Elections ruled that Goode has qualified for the presidential ballot in that state.
Goode began his political career about 40 years ago as a conservative Democrat. He first ran for political office as an Independent. After being elected to the state Senate, he became a Democrat. He was an iconoclast in that party, outspokenly supporting the tobacco industry and gun rights. In 1996, he was elected to the House of Representatives; four years later, he switched to an Independent. Then, in 2002, he became a Republican. He lost his seat to a Democrat in 2008. Goode then joined the Constitution Party in 2010. He won that party’s presidential nomination earlier this year. This week, the Virginia Board of Elections determined that he qualified for the presidential ballot in that state.
Estimates of Goode’s potential vote in Virginia widely vary, from 1% to 8% at this time. However, virtually all of his votes will come from Mitt Romney. His electoral strength is among rural voters located in the south, which is where Romney hopes to amass a lead. If a number of these voters choose Goode instead, it becomes problematic for Mitt to win the state. As was discussed earlier, Romney has decided to expend his resources on 8 states, one of which obviously is Virginia. If he should lose this state, he would have to run the table to win the contest.