GOP Fears Ex-Lawmaker’s Candidacy Will Help Obama Win Swing-State Virginia

A former House Republican lawmaker could siphon votes from Mitt Romney in the battleground state of Virginia and boost President Obama’s chances of winning a second term.

Former five-term Rep. Virgil Goode, who represented southwest Virginia’s 5th District, has a strong chance of making it on the state’s general election ballot. That would set up a potential Ralph Nader-like spoiler scenario circa 2000.

At that time, then-Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee, lost the state of Florida by fewer than 600 votes to former President George W. Bush. Nader, a liberal third-party candidate, won nearly 100,000 votes in the Sunshine State.

A similar scenario could play out in Virginia if Goode’s name appears on the ballot in November, according to a recent poll.

According to a Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey of Virginia voters, Goode would win 9 percent of the vote, with Romney winning 35 percent to Obama’s 49 percent, with a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

“Goode is a household name in the 5th district, and could be Romney’s worst nightmare if he qualifies for the ballot,” GOP political operative Ford O’Connell told The Hill.

After all, O’Connell says, “for Obama, Virginia is not a must. But for Romney, it is a must have in terms of winning the White House.”

Read more from Molly K. Hooper at The Hill

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published this page in In The News 2012-07-29 20:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy