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Virgil Goode, the man causing Mitt Romney fits in Virginia
Life just got a hell of a lot more difficult for Mitt Romney in the Old Dominion on Tuesday: Virginia's State Board of Elections just ruled that former congressman Virgil Goode should appear on the ballot as the nominee of the Constitution Party this November. Goode, a Virginia native who represented the state's 5th Congressional District for six terms, is a former Republican who is almost certain to pull more votes from Romney than Obama. Indeed, a PPP poll from last month (PDF) showed the president carrying Virginia by a 50-45 margin in a two-way race—but that edge blew up to a 50-42 lead when Goode is included (he takes 4%).
So you can understand why Romneyland is very afraid of a Goode candidacy, and why they're challenging his petitions in court. Virginia has pretty tough ballot access laws; indeed, you may recall that only Romney and Ron Paul secured access for the GOP primary earlier this year, with Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry unable to even get on the ballot at all. Goode, though, says he submitted over 20,000 signatures, double the required 10,000. And since they've already been vetted by the elections board, that presents a much tougher hurdle for Romney. So if Goode does indeed stay on and PPP's polling is accurate, Virginia just became a much, much harder nut for Republicans to crack.
P.S. If you've never heard Goode speak, I strongly encourage you to listen to a few seconds of this video. He has one of the most distinctive accents I've ever heard.