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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?

Continued from page 2

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.

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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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What about the other states that went for Obama? Had there been no third-party candidates, would there have been 35 more Electoral College votes to put Romney over the top? 

In California, the President won by 59.2 percent with 5,554,499 votes. Romney garnered only 3,613,339 votes. If he’d had every one of the Third Party candidates’ 219,425 votes, it would have made no difference.  The same is true in all of the “battleground” states as well as smaller states which went for Obama: Oregon, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Delaware and Minnesota.

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So, if third-party candidates didn’t make the difference this time, who did? Most Americans tuned into Election Night coverage unsure of what to expect. In the early evening, everything appeared too close to call. All eyes were on those “battleground states” where “swing voters” were the target of millions of dollars of last-minute advertising. How did these all-important swing voters come to their final decisions?

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Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
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