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Should Dems, Anti-Romney Republicans Secretly Fund Goode's Campaign for President?

by: Goldmanusa

Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:38:51 AM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

by Paul Goldman

Ben Tribbett, one of the state's top bloggers, got me thinking yesterday. He is known as the guy behind the highly rated political blog Not Larry Sabato. But Ben deserves to be even better known as one of the state's best gurus on election statistics down to the precinct level.

Ben has done a lot of mentally  "running the numbers" on the potential impact of former Congressman Virgil Goode's run for President as the nominee for the Constitution Party here in Virginia.

Ben is likely - and hopefully soon - to do a blog post an Obama-Romney-Goode race here in the Commonwealth. The media is currently assuming that Goode is not going to be a factor in who wins the White House. They have been assuming the president will win Virginia handily as the polls had been indicating, or that Goode's support in any poll will disappear in November.

But yesterday, a two-way poll in Virginia between President Obama and former Governor Romney showed a dead heat. The national polls are showing a dead heat, with some pundits suggesting Virginia could be the deciding state in the Electoral College.

So again, I am writing in part to encourage Ben  - I know he is busy - to lay out the numbers so we all can improve our knowledge here.

We all know what Ralph Nader did in Florida to cost Al Gore the Presidency. We all know what followed in terms of the George W. Bush years. Presidential elections matter. A lot.

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by a national reporter about Goode's candidacy for President. I said the polls were wrong in saying he would be a big factor in Southwest, where his positions on immigration policy appealed to the most conservative, Republican elements of the area. My view was this: those voters really didn't know Goode and in the end, most would vote for Romney as the viable anti-Obama candidate.

But as to Virginia, I said this: Goode is known in certain parts of the state, and has always shown support there with high name ID in surrounding areas.

Goldmanusa :: Should Dems, Anti-Romney Republicans Secretly Fund Goode's Campaign for President?
So I figured there was a good chance Goode could get some of those folks if they remained skeptical about Romney especially if the GOP nominee was seen as shifting to a more moderate position on immigration. But I couldn't quantify even a range of potential hard core support. Ben has given it a lot more thought and mathematical analysis.

Again, there is no way to ever know and polls tend to be very unreliable in that they generally way overstate the final vote of a guy like Goode. So one has to avoid getting stuck on a specific number.

BUT there is one thing for certain: Almost all of those who ultimately wind-up voting for Virgil Goode in Virginia would NOT have voted for President Obama.

Therefore, if you assume a close Electoral College race for President, one potential political strategy makes a huge amount of campaign sense for Democrats and those Republicans who don't want to see Romney elected President:

Give money, get money, to the Virginia campaign of Virgil Goode.

Indeed, under the new campaign rules, a group of Dems/Anti-Romney Republicans can masquerade as a pro-Goode SUPER PAC, and secretly fund the whole effort.

As Ben can  show, there is an existing pool of potential 2012 voters in Virginia who Goode has a chance of wooing over to his side....with a sufficient amount of money and campaign luck.

It doesn't take a math genius to know that 50-50 Obama vs Romney race in VA could easily come out 49.5 for Obama, 48.5 for Romney and 2.0 for Goode.

Moreover, to the extent the Romney campaign comes to believe it might lose VA, then it has to make some very hard and potentially wrong strategy decisions on how to make up the 13 electoral votes.

MEANING: The viability of the Goode campaign in VA - forget the rest of the country - needs to get some more attention by the national press, indeed the VA press.

Virgil is no more qualified to be President than Michele Bachmann or Herman Cain. But in Virginia, the former populist Democrat turned Independent turned conservative Republican turned anti-immigrant Constitutional Party presidential nominee could be the nut in the coconut for the White House come November.

So, I ask you: Given the current polls, the current logic and the current realities, what is more likely to change the outcome of the presidential election? 1) Another $5 million spent on TV ADS focused on Obama or Romney in one way or another; or 2) using that same $5 million to promote Virgil Goode as a protest vote on immigration policy (or whatever), helping persuade voters they can have the biggest impact by using their vote to send both parties a message?

If you will not believe your own common sense, then Ben's numbers will make you see that Virgil Goode, with that kind of chump changed in terms of what is being spent, has as yet an unappreciated ability - with enough money - to get enough votes in Virginia to likely guarantee a win for President Obama in the Old Dominion. And that, in turn, could easily be the key to winning President Obama a second term in the White House.

As a pure matter of risk vs reward, the "risk" of losing votes because you didn't spend that $5 million on either a pro-Obama or anti-Romney ad is far, far less than the potential "reward" of spending that money on pro-Goode ads, thus generating votes for the former Congressman's presidential bid, in turn taking them from Romney, in turn helping Obama win Virginia.

I bet that right now, there are some very smart people sitting around gaming out a strategy of how to make sure Goode gets the benefit of this kind of money, if not more.

In 2000, it was Florida: In 1916, it was California. In 1888, it was New York. In 1884, it was New York again. In 1876, it was Florida. In 1800, it was Delaware. In 2012, it could be Virginia. Which means it could be Virginia's Virgil Goode who determines the 2012 presidential election outcome, one way or the other.

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Certain Areas (0.00 / 0)
Virgil's bound to get votes in certain areas, like the southern end of the 5th District. I would imagine that he would also appeal to those conservatives (some might say bigots) in rural Virginia who don't want to vote for either a Black man or a Mormon. If Virginia is really a dead heat (I have my doubts about that), then all Virgil needs to do is to peel away 1-2% of the vote from Romney to give the President a win.

Why wouldn't the Tea Party fringe element go for Virgil big time? Yes, the money behind that bunch comes from mega-rich guys who know they can manipulate Romney any way they want, but the foot soldiers in that bunch tout the Constitution, are anti-everything, including immigration.

It'll be interesting if Virgil makes it onto the ballot. With the GOP controlling the State Board of Elections, Virgil's signatures better be many and accurate. He'll need signature overkill big time to get on the ballot.

Ahem. I'll repeat myself. (0.00 / 0)
Unless you can show me direct proof that a bad signature was validated or a good signature was disqualified, you've got nothing but anecdotal smearing of people's reputations.

Last time I attempted to call you on this, you had insinuated that even local registrars and electoral boards were in on the fix. I'm immediately calling horsecrap on that as my local registrar & electoral board have always enforced the election laws that are on the books and have done so objectively.

Four words, Elaine.

Proof Or Not Real.

[ Parent ]
Ballot Requirements (4.00 / 1)
It is common in primaries for the Board of Elections to allow the state party to validate signatures. It was the RPV that told the board it required 14,000 signatures and 600 in each congressional district to get on the ballot for the GOP primary. Local boards do NOT have to be in on some "fix" in cases of primaries. In the case of the 6th district Democratic primary this year, the State Board and the DPVA allowed the Dem chair of the district to check the validity of the signatures and certify their validity.

It is simply basic politics in statewide elections for parties to strictly enforce Virginia's draconian requirements - left over from the old Byrd machine - to get one's name on the ballot. The requirements were originally put into place to keep third parties off the ballot and to allow the state parties to control their primaries and the candidates standing for office in general elections. I am not, nor have I, insinuated that it was somehow dishonest to strictly follow the law. It is a fact that the self-interest of the party in charge will guide their actions. Otherwise, they aren't doing their job, which is to elect people of their party.

Proof of some wrongdoing is not necessary for the FACTS of hardball politics to be real. I personally know of only one instance of true wrongdoing. It was in the 9th and with a Republican registrar who lost her office for her actions. The problem in Montgomery County in recent years was a case of ineptness and poor training, not fraud or a desire to change any outcome.

[ Parent ]
But you said... (0.00 / 0)
"It'll be interesting if Virgil makes it onto the ballot. With the GOP controlling the State Board of Elections, Virgil's signatures better be many and accurate. He'll need signature overkill big time to get on the ballot."

That can easily be taken as saying that a signature-checker just might not be following the law as written.

All Goode will need is the exact number (or more) that's required. The notation that the SBE is Republican-controlled is superfluous. They'll follow the law as they are sworn to do. Your story of the 9th District registrar who got fired for going outside the law is proof enough that the system works the way it's supposed to do.  

[ Parent ]
does he have enough signatures? (0.00 / 0)
I believe he has submitted signatures, but it isn't yet clear that he has enough.   400 signatures in the 3rd district might not be easy.   Deadline is August 24th.....if needed we could all help out.

Btw, PPP had O 49, R 35, G 9.    I expect it to be a lot closer, but Goode's numbers might be several percent.

The 3rd (0.00 / 0)
Didn't he simply say recently that he had the required number of signatures? I haven't heard that he turned them in yet. After the experience with the GOP primary, he better do what any smart candidate should do: try for 600 in each district. (I bet I could get him 600 signatures in the 3rd very easily. Just have to mention that he just might guarantee President Obama's election if he's on the ballot.)  

[ Parent ]
3rd should be easier than the 8th (0.00 / 0)
It contains my area of Churchland (Portsmouth west of the Elizabeth River) which is made up of Republican leaning and solid Republican, conservative precincts. It also picks up some parts of Newport News and Surry that have some folks who would sign his petition.
I would think he would have a rougher go asking folks in Arlington and Alexandria in the 8th to sign his petition...unless they are on board with the plan :)

[ Parent ]
Franklin News Post reports... (0.00 / 0)
...he has 14,000 signatures.



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