Former congressman Virgil Goode Jr. has qualified for the presidential ballot in Virginia, the State Board of Elections ruled Tuesday morning, adding a potential obstacle to Republican Mitt Romney’s hopes of winning the pivotal state.Goode, who lost his Congressional seat to Tom Periello in 2008, is running for president on the ultra-conservative Constitution Party line, and could end up drawing a meaningful share of the vote, especially from the area containing his former congressional district. With how close the race in Virginia appears to be, given current polling, any fraction of the vote that goes to Goode lengthens the odds significantly for Romney. As Public Policy Polling wrote concerning its poll of the commonwealth in late August, which found Obama leading 50-45:
The state Republican party has already challenged the eligibility of Goode, who is the Constitution Party’s nominee, and could still get him knocked off the ballot. Goode previously served in Congress as a Democrat, an Independent and then a Republican before losing his southwest Virginia seat in 2008.
The Virgil Goode situation continues to be worth keeping an eye on in Virginia. Our new poll finds him receiving only 4% of the vote but he pulls it pretty much all from Romney, pushing him down to 42% while Obama remains at 50%, giving him an 8 point lead. It's unlikely Goode will really end up having that big of an effect if he gets on the ballot, but if it gets to the point where Virginia is just decided by a point or so social conservatives in his old district voting for him instead of Romney really could prove to be a difference maker.It's still not confirmed that Goode will appear on the ballot. The Republican Party successfully got him removed from the ballot in Pennsylvania, and they're challenging his signatures in Virginia as well. But without proof of substantial fraud on Goode's part, it doesn't look like there are any grounds to remove him.