President Obama said yesterday on the stump in Roanoke Virginia, and quite correctly " When we get Virginia we will win this election." As the map below shows, yes indeed, Virginia is the key to the November election. If Obama carries it he can lose North Carolina, Florida and even Ohio, and still get to the 270 Electoral College votes required.
This also goes to show how difficult Mitt Romney's battle in the Electoral College is.Even if current polling gives Romney Florida he still loses 279-259 as per the map below.
Of course anything can happen between now and November and if there is a massive economic collapse President Obama might well suffer the consequences as did John McCain in 2008. McCain had, because of Sarah Palin, actually passed Obama in the polls, but once Lehman Brothers/Tarp and McCain suspending his campaign eventuated nothing Palin could do could save him.
But barring an October surprise of such magnitude and the fact that Virginia could determine who will be elected the election could well be over, all bar the shouting, on August 24th. Virgil Goode, the presidential candidate of the very conservative Constitutional Party will be on the ballot in a number of states, including,perhaps vitally, Ohio and Colorado. Obviously 1-2% of the vote, taken from Romney, may make all the difference in Ohio, which Obama won closely in 2008 but it is Virginia that matters.
Goode is from, and very popular in, down-state Virginia. Unfortunately for Romney the conservative part of the state, and the key to balancing Northern Virginia where Obama ran up huge majorities which enabled him to defeat McCain in this previously safe Republican state.
PPP Polling has released its latest Virginia polling which finds President Obama leading Romney by 8 points 50%-42%. Naturally there will be ups and owns and the race may well tighten to the 2% that Obama won it by in 2008 (or Romney might win it by that margin) but if Virgil Goode gets 10,000 signatures and gets them from the required places by August 24th, then this PPP polling result, in italics below,
FROM THIS LINK could be utter disaster for Romney;
"-If Virgil Goode gets on the ballot in Virginia it could spell trouble for Romney. He pulls 9% of the vote, getting most of his support from Republicans and conservative leaning independents. With him in the picture Obama's lead pushes out to 14 points at 49-35. It's highly unlikely Goode would get 9% in the end but he certainly could make a difference if Virginia ended up being more like a 1-2 pt race. Goode staying off the ballot may be vital to Romney's prospects there."
Of course, and as PPP rightly points out it is unlikely that Goode will get 9% even given that he is a local and well liked but if he takes even 2% which seems quite possibly given the possibility of a "Mormon Bradley effect" then Virginia would be lost on current polling and with it most likely the election for Romney. Everything between now and August 24th is chasing the wind politically, if Goode gets on the ballot on that date then the wind will be a hurricane in favor of President Obama.
Here is a local report (you can read the entire column)
AT THIS LINK from the Richmond Times-Dispatch which the rest of the media has chosen to ignore as if Goode gets on the ballot they will have noting to write about as the campaign will be over effectively-as Obama hinted yesterday.
With a single vote — his own — Goode changed the course of the Virginia Senate in 1996. He broke with fellow Democrats to impose power-sharing on an evenly divided chamber. That ensured a conservative coalition for a Republican governor named George Allen.
Sixteen years later, Goode — now the far-right Constitution Party's nominee for president — could change the course of the Barack Obama-Mitt Romney contest in battleground Virginia from tossup to Obama encore. Or could he?
A new poll by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic outfit, has Goode drawing likely Romney voters and taking 9 percent in Virginia. Such a performance seems unlikely, not to mention the fact that Goode has not yet qualified for the Virginia ballot.
In 2008, four independent candidates, combined with write-ins, collectively pulled 1.02 percent of the Virginia vote. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader led the pack with a whopping 0.30 percent.
The last time an independent presidential candidate even moved into significant single-digits was 1996. Billionaire Ross Perot got over 6 percent. Virginia — then less moderate than it is today — still fell to Bob Dole.
Goode, who's been a Democrat, an independent and a Republican, must first navigate Virginia's ballot-access requirements, labeled by experts as the toughest in the nation.
Goode has until Aug. 24 to submit the signatures of 10,000 registered voters, including 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts.