“It could be devastating to the Romney campaign in a battleground state with 13 electoral votes that Romney will likely need in his column if he is to win the White House.”

“Within the Obama camp, he is considered one of two who could tilt the race by pulling votes away from Romney,” writes Kuhnhenn. The other is Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico whose presence on the ballot could make a difference in the presidential contest in states such as New Mexico and Colorado.”

Together, Virginia, New Mexico and Colorado have 26 votes in the Electoral College. Winning any one of them would have won Gore the presidency.  Denying Romney any one of them could keep Obama in the White House.

Mitt Romney

A senior Obama campaign official, speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss campaign thinking, pointed to polls that show Obama voters having greater enthusiasm for their candidate than do Romney voters. That means Romney voters could switch allegiance to Virgil Goode more easily.

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

Barack Obama

"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," notes Diaz, who adds that Goode's message "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.

"He wants to eliminate foreign aid, issue a moratorium on 1.2 million green cards, and audit the Federal Reserve, writes Diaz. "Goode readily admits his odds of winning the White House are long."

His chances of giving Virginia's Electoral College votes to Obama -- and, hence, the presidency -- are far greater. Asked if he realizes his candidacy could re-elect Obama, Goode told Gehrke that could be a good thing – since Goode’s key issue is immigration.

“As Goode sees it,” reports Gehrke, “Romney could actually be worse on immigration than Obama. Goode said he’s convinced Romney would be soft on illegal immigration and could persuade Republicans to agree to pro-amnesty policies, where the GOP would fight Obama.”

“While many on the right fear that Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode might just draw enough votes in his native Virginia to tip the Old Dominion’s 14 electoral votes from Mitt Romney to Barack Obama, the former six-term congressman made it clear he doesn’t care,” reports Human Events political writer John Gizzi. “Goode, in fact, feels that ‘in many ways, for conservatives, it might be better to have Obama as president next year rather than Romney.’"

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