Did third-party candidates nix Romney's presidency?

And where were the Christians? Why was there such ambivalence about this election? Why did evangelicals seemingly sit this one out?

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Obama and Romney spent around $1 billion each on advertising — much of it in the “battleground states,” appealing to swing voters — who waited until the last minute to decide how to vote. Even so, the election seemed marred by ambivalence — with many Christian voters joking that they voted holding their noses, picking the least objectionable candidate. Did the free flow of campaign money fail to remedy hard-core conservatives’ as well as diehard liberals’ ambivalence about their candidates?

In the end, did a wealth of third-party choices cause them to vote the equivalent of “None of the Above” by supporting neither Obama nor Romney — but instead some obscure third-party candidate? In Florida, an absence of third-party candidates could have made a dramatic difference for Romney. There Obama beat him by only 46,061. If all everyone who supported a third-party candidate had instead voted for Romney, the Republican candidate would have won the Sunshine State by 24,892 votes.


That would have gained Romney 29 votes in the Electoral College for a total of 235 – still 35 short of the 270 needed to win.

Could he have picked up more Electoral College votes in other battleground states had there been no third-party candidates? In Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia and Illinois, third-party candidates were active — campaigning on a variety of issues, including the legalization of marijuana, which was approved by Colorado and Washington State voters.

However, third-party candidates drew only small percentages of the vote in those states.

In Virginia, it had been feared that former U.S. Senator Virgil Goode’s Constitutional Party candidacy would leach off enough conservative votes to give the state’s Electoral College votes to Obama. However, Obama won the state’s 13 Electoral College ballots by 54,924 votes.

Only 51,802 Virginians voted for all of the third-party candidates combined — close, but not enough to matter.

Virgil Goode

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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