Thursday, August 2, 2012

Constitution Party's Virgil Goode Has The Signatures For Virginia Ballot.If Confirmed Obama Is Re-Elected

I reproduce my earlier report on the situation of the polling in Virginia, which is, according to the analysis of many pundits, the key state for the 2012 campaign. After the post below is the latest update from the website of the Constitutional Party AT THIS LINK According to their report, their candidate Virgil Goode of Virginia has 17,000 signatures which is 7,000 more than s required to get on the ballot in that state.

What happens next is that 10,000 signatures have to be confirmed as being valid and perhaps vitally, there has to be included amongst the 10,000 a minimum of 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts as advised in the press report below. 

If Goode meets both these qualifications by August 24th then there is a very strong possibility of him drawing enough votes from Romney to ensure President Obama takes the state again. If that happens and even if Romney won Florida/North Carolina/Ohio and Iowa he would still lose.
This begs the question, if Palin were the nominee would Goode be a factor in Virginia? Would he even have obtained the required number of signatures?

 Obama said  on the stump in Roanoke Virginia, and quite correctly " When we get Virginia we will win this election."  As the map below shows, yes indeed, Virginia is the key to the November election. If Obama carries it he can lose North Carolina, Florida and even Ohio, and still get to the 270 Electoral College votes required.

This also goes to show how difficult Mitt Romney's battle in the Electoral College is.Even if Romney wins Florida he still loses 279-259 as per the map below.

Of course anything can happen between now and November and if there is a massive economic collapse President Obama might well suffer the consequences as did John McCain in 2008. McCain had, because of Sarah Palin, actually passed Obama in the polls, but once Lehman Brothers/TARP and McCain suspending his campaign eventuated, nothing Palin could do could save him.

But barring an October surprise of such magnitude, fact that  could well be over, all bar the shouting, on August 24th. Virgil Goode, the presidential candidate of the very conservative Constitutional Party will be on the ballot in a number of states, including Virginia, and perhaps also vitally, Ohio and Colorado. Obviously 1-2% of the vote, taken from Romney, may make all the difference in Ohio, which Obama won closely in 2008 but it is Virginia that matters.

Goode is from, and very popular in, down-state Virginia. Which is, unfortunately for Romney the conservative part of the state. It is key to balancing Northern Virginia, where Obama ran up huge majorities in 2008 which enabled him to defeat McCain in this previously safe Republican state.

PPP Polling has released Virginia polling which finds President Obama leading Romney by 8 points 50%-42%. Naturally there will be ups and owns and the race may well tighten to the 2% that Obama won it by in 2008, or Romney might win it by that margin. But if Virgil Goode gets 10,000 signatures and gets them from the required places by August 24th, then this PPP polling result, in italics below, 
FROM THIS LINK could be utter disaster for Romney;

"-If Virgil Goode gets on the ballot in Virginia it could spell trouble for Romney. He pulls 9% of the vote, getting most of his support from Republicans and conservative leaning independents. With him in the picture Obama's lead pushes out to 14 points at 49-35. It's highly unlikely Goode would get 9% in the end but he certainly could make a difference if Virginia ended up being more like a 1-2 pt race. Goode staying off the ballot may be vital to Romney's prospects there."

Of course, and as PPP rightly points out it is unlikely that Goode will get 9% even given that he is a local and well liked but if he takes even 2% which seems quite possibly given the possibility of a "Mormon Bradley effect" then Virginia would be lost on current polling and with it most likely the election for Romney. Everything between now and August 24th is chasing the wind politically, if Goode gets on the ballot on that date then the wind will be a hurricane in favor of President Obama.

Here is a local report (you can read the entire column)

AT THIS LINK from the Richmond Times-Dispatch which the rest of the media has chosen to ignore as if Goode gets on the ballot they will have noting to write about as the campaign will be over effectively-as Obama hinted yesterday.

With a single vote — his own — Goode changed the course of the Virginia Senate in 1996. He broke with fellow Democrats to impose power-sharing on an evenly divided chamber. That ensured a conservative coalition for a Republican governor named George Allen.
Sixteen years later, Goode — now the far-right Constitution Party's nominee for president — could change the course of the Barack Obama-Mitt Romney contest in battleground Virginia from tossup to Obama encore. Or could he?

A new poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic outfit, has Goode drawing likely Romney voters and taking 9 percent in Virginia. Such a performance seems unlikely, not to mention the fact that Goode has not yet qualified for the Virginia ballot.
In 2008, four independent candidates, combined with write-ins, collectively pulled 1.02 percent of the Virginia vote. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader led the pack with a whopping 0.30 percent.
The last time an independent presidential candidate even moved into significant single-digits was 1996. Billionaire Ross Perot got over 6 percent. Virginia — then less moderate than it is today — still fell to Bob Dole.
Goode, who's been a Democrat, an independent and a Republican, must first navigate Virginia's ballot-access requirements, labeled by experts as the toughest in the nation.
Goode has until Aug. 24 to submit the signatures of 10,000 registered voters, including 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts.


By Elizabeth Dias | @elizabethjdias | August 1, 2012

Virgil Goode glides through the doors of a McDonald's in Farmville, VA, at 11:52 am and instantly three construction workers in the back booth rise to their feet.  ”I’ve been wanting to shake your hand a long time, sir,” says Jeremy Clay of nearby Evington, extending a hand to the former Congressman.  His buddy Jeremy Rawlings of Lynchburg does the same, and asks which line to sign on Goode’s petition to get on the presidential ballot. “If Obama gets re-elected, we’re all doomed,” Rawlings says as he scrawls his name. Goode asks in his Virginia drawl how business is faring. Two postal workers who have joined the group shake their heads—“We’re on the line,” one says. Goode asks about their families as they take photos on their cell phones. Then he orders a vanilla ice cream cone and heads down Main Street to gather more names.

Goode is running for president on the Constitution Party ticket, and his candidacy has Republicans sweating: Goode is pulling fully 9% of Virginia’s vote, according to a mid-July Public Policy Polling survey, leaving Obama ahead of Romney 49% to 35%. In a tight election where Virginia’s 13 electoral college votes could make or break the Romney’s candidacy, even 2% for Goode could pull enough Republicans away to hand the historically red state to Obama in November.

Goode could easily maintain at least a few percentage points in Virginia through the fall. He remains a popular local figure who served in the Virginia State Senate for 24 years and then then represented VA’s 5th district in the U.S. House until 2009. His platform is simple—he can recite it under 15 seconds. “One: balance the budget now, not later. Two: Get Americans jobs by ending illegal immigration and making legal immigration harder. Lastly: Impose term limits.”

It’s a message that appeals to many voters in rural, small-town Virginia. His Old Dominion charm is a break from a national race that can often seem impersonal. Goode remembers where his former constituents’ kids go to school, when their siblings moved to a nearby county, and how their family businesses have fared for the past two or three generations. He opens all his own doors—and all doors for his staffers—and makes sure that women enter first. He attends Pleasant Hill Methodist Church (though he’s Baptist) and spends his days on the trail at chicken festivals and gun shoots. To top it off, he narrowly missed giving a speech at a memorial dedication because he stopped en route to save a beagle who was hit by a truck—he even paid a passerby to drive the dog to the vet before he continued on his way.

Many supporters in Farmville support Goode for his conservative economics and social policies. He wants to eliminate foreign aid, issue a moratorium on 1.2 million green cards, and audit the Federal Reserve. For James Ailsworth, owner of Farmville’s Key’s Office Supply store, signing Goode’s ballot petition comes down to just one issue. “Which side of the check do your supporters sign? We’ve got a guy up there who signs the back side,” he says, referring to Obama and the national debt. Goode doesn’t miss a beat. “Front side.” Ailsworth grabs a pen: “I’ll sign.” A woman in the checkout line signed up because of Goode’s immigration positions–he doesn’t support automatic U.S. citizenship for children born of undocumented parents, saying that the policy misconstrues an amendment to the Constitution, and he believes that showing a birth or naturalization certificate should be required to receive social service benefits. “You’re like I am,” she says. “We take care of our own first.”

Beyond Virginia, Goode has his work cut out for him. The Richmond native has already made it onto the ballot in 17 states and aims to expand that number to 40. Only 477,000 Americans are known to be registered Constitution Party voters, according to records from their national headquarters (whose phone number happens to be 1-800-2-VETO-IRS). But that figure does not take into account states like Virginia, where voter registration by party is not required. Goode hopes to have some success in Pennsylvania, home state of his running mate, Jim Clymer. He’s also focusing on key swing states like Ohio, Florida and Missouri.

Goode readily admits his odds of winning the White House are long. He forgoes fundraisers and declines PAC donations, caps individual contributions at $200, and relies on just four staff members, only one of whom is full time. He says he’s lucky to raise $1,000/week. But that is his whole point. “If you want big money candidates, you’ve got two great ones running,” he says. “Maybe a day or two before the election, the American people will wake up and say, We’ve had enough.”

So, considering the close contest, does Goode see a vote for him as a vote for Obama? “No,” he says. “I’m taking votes away from Obama as well as Romney.” So far no one from the Romney camp has tried to dissuade him from running, Goode says. At least not yet. But one thing is for sure: Goode is almost guaranteed to be on Virginia’s ballot. He has already has collected 17,000 signatures, well beyond the 10,000 required by the state’s August 24 deadline. And if there’s one state where he can make a difference, it’s his own.

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