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Virgil Goode has not gotten much attention from the press or pollsters in his quixotic quest to disrupt the Virginia theater of the presidential race. PPP's recent poll ignored Goode & Gary Johnson when it showed Obama+2 in VA. This race is close enough that the presence of two candidates with the capacity to siphon votes from Rmoney on the VA ballot could swing the VA EV's to Obama. The NYT did a piece last week on Johnson's campaign last week which included a bit on Goode but there has been a dearth of information on Goode's impact on the campaign. PPP included Goode & Johnson in an October 7 poll showing  Goode with 1%, Johnson with 4% and boosting Obama's lead by 1% overall from 3% to 4% with the inclusion of those two in that race. Why PPP has chosen to leave them off their latest poll is a "Goode" question. He is on the ballot in more than 20 states as the Constitution Party candidate but Virginia is the place this favorite son may actually sway the final tally.

For all the hand wringing, pearl clutching, and insomniatic mind racing that has made it's way into various diaries about polls and polling methodologies here I am surprised about the lack of Goode data in VA. It would be interesting to hear if anyone in Virginia, especially in Goode's congressional district, have any comments on the state of his campaign. In a campaign that is too close to call where even one swing state  could tip the balance of the entire  race I find the Goode meme worth at least some attention. Every time I read some whining complaint about polls that  someone finds objectionable I wonder if uncovering something that really is absent from the cross tabs, like Goode's influence on the VA ballot,  might help settle some stomachs.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That poll was done for a client (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    HCAN, whoever that is. They may have just wanted the head-to-head.

  •  3rd parties usually underperform (10+ / 0-)

    Keep in mind that 3rd party candidates usually underperform in the actual election vs the polls.  IIRC it's about 50% less.

    Still though, if Goode and Johnson can shave even 1% off of Romney, this could push Obama a hair past the finish line in Virginia or hopefully make his victory clear-cut enough that a recount isn't triggered.

    I'd rather the entire election not be decided Ralph Nader style for us, but if Obama already snags OH and NV, adding VA to our column will give him some padding to declare a mandate victory.  Still, I'll take victory in any way I can get it.

    •  Well said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, Lujane

      It's been my experience when talking with third party voters that most of them will not vote if their candidate isn't on the ballot, Libertarians especially.  They aren't necessarily taking away votes from either major party candidate.

    •  that's funny, just yesterday (0+ / 0-)

      someone said Goode will draw 4%.

      I said no more than 2%


      "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and me?" - Don Van Vliet

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 12:17:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I know zero about (0+ / 0-)

      Johnson but I do know Goode - he's an idiot- but a lot of people thought he walked on water.  I always had a wave of nausea when I remembered that Goode's district included the home of Thomas Jefferson.
      If he pulls just 1% he could tip it for Obama.

      Go Goody!!

      "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov (8.25 / -5.64}

      by carver on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:39:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  PPP usually polls (4+ / 0-)

    an expanded ballot test in VA, too. I'm guessing they didn't last time because it was conducted for a private client.

    Having said that, the final vote percentages for these other candidates will be very low (even though Goode served in Congress for a long while in VA), probably under 1% each. In an ultra-tight election, that could be enough to make a difference, but it won't have a significant effect otherwise.

  •  What's the point of polling without all candidates (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lightsource777, Supavash, carver

    ? That's just stupid. They treat this like it's a game.

    Everyone Chill the fuck out! I got this - unknown but credited to Barack Obama

    by natedogg265 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 11:48:41 AM PDT

    •  The Point (0+ / 0-)

      The point is that people generally poll 3rd party candidates at twice the support they actually receive.  In other words, before they're standing in the voting booth, people will say they'll vote third party, but once they get there, they pull the trigger for the major party they lean to anyway.  Therefore, polling without the 3rd party candidates isn't necessarily less accurate than polling with them.

    •  I'll do you one better. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why do we pay attention to polls when they are, at best, pretty sketchy  and at worst completely wrong.  Trite though it may be,  the only poll that means squat is the one which ends Nov. 6 2012- concentrate on pushing those Nov. 6 “polls” up for the Prez and spend less time worrying about the stupid  - that will get him reelected – don't hand wring ---- VOTE.

      "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov (8.25 / -5.64}

      by carver on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well just add 1-2 points to Team Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    librarisingnsf, pademocrat, Supavash

    I think Governor Johnson might be hurting President Obama in Colorado, but hurting Governor Romney in Virginia.

    So far, Virginia seems to still be holding for President Obama, though very slightly. I don't see a path for Romney without Ohio and Virginia.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 11:49:00 AM PDT

  •  more than you think. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinto Pony, pademocrat, Supavash

    Never before has a Mormon been atop a ticket for evangelical whites to vote for.  

    Watch Johnson and Goode have a very good showing in Virginia.  So good, it might not even be close.  

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 11:51:06 AM PDT

  •  Even if Goode only gets 0.5% (6+ / 0-)

    That's 0.5% Romney won't be getting, and it's quite possible VA will be the closest state this time.

  •  Wasn't O +2 in both polls (with and without 3rds)? (0+ / 0-)
    •  October 7 VA PPP poll (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pademocrat, dnta

      Had Obama+3 w/o Goode & Johnson (50%-47%). With Goode & Johnson included it was Obama +4 with                 O48%, R44%, J4%, G1%

      So this poll indicates that the inclusion of Johnson & Goode on the ballot siphons from both candidates  but doesn't reduce undecideds. Not sure if anything can be surmised from that. If third party candidates don't actually siphon votes from the R&D candidates but bring otherwise non-voters into the election then the Goode Johnson factor will be negligible.  Goode has had plenty of Virginian voters vote for him in his past congressional races. I think his being on the ballot will coax more than a few votes from Romney in Virginia due to the fact he has some name recognition. Time, as always, will tell.

  •  On previous PPP polls, Goode gets 7% (0+ / 0-)
  •  goode may draw 5% in his old CD (0+ / 0-)

    that equates, with 11 CDs, to less than 1% statewide.  But he might draw .5-1.0 in the rest of the state.

    I expect him to take net .5-1.5 from Romney

    Johnson is a bit more complicated.  He may actually draw almost as much from Obama as he does from Romney.

    Still, for a variety of reasons, I have never seen Romney taking Virginia.  His anti-federal government rhetoric has serious implications in NoVa, we have an increasing Hispanic population, and him being Mormon while running with a Catholic will cost him some votes, no matter how much the likes of Billy Graham endorse him

    Michael Farris, one time Lt Gov candidate for the Republicans, has said while he will vote for Romney he will not endorse him.  Farris is very big in both the evangelical and home-schooling communities.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:02:19 PM PDT

  •  Be very conservative about 3rd party impact (0+ / 0-)

    Though it seems illogical, the third party effect for minor candidates  (those with no chance of winning) is much smaller than the final raw vote count, and much, much smaller than the pre-election polling. Three reasons:

    1- As generally recognized in comments, usually there is a 50% or more falloff between polling and voting - people don't want to 'throw their vote away' and/or get caught up in the horse race.

    2- Some of their votes come from people who would not have voted without someone they really prefer - so strong libertarians or rabid theological evangelicals may vote for Johnson or Goode, but otherwise not vote.  

    3- Odd though it is, every third party candidate pulls at least a few voters from each of the major contenders.  eg. A few Goode votes will come from people who distrust Mormons more than blacks, or Romney's accent more than Obama's.  There are many voters who have what we wonks and junkies would consider idiosyncratic and irrational voting criteria - often subliminal.  Obviously this factor is far bigger for Johnson than Goode.

    So, if we are looking at a candidate polling 2%, the vote will be 1%, but only 0.6% will be people who otherwise would have voted, and they will be drawn with a 0.15% vs 0.45% from the major contenders so the actual impact will be 0.3%.

    I believe these are pretty realistic numbers, but the real point is to take a very deep discount on the impact of minor third-party contenders.

    Regardless, I welcome contributions of all sizes, and though I would guess Johnson to have about 0.6% max effect, and Goode to have about 0.25% max effect, those  could easily be the margin that let's us go to bed at a reasonable hour.  

    The downside is that a couple tenths of otherwise non-voters turning out because of Goode will almost undoubtedly be another tenth or two for Allen - and Fox.  
     Reality is complicated and destined to disappoint all optimists.

  •  Virginia seems to be trending (0+ / 0-)

    back to President Obama after a brief "flirtation" by voters there with Mittch-A-Sketch Romney. Goode's presence on the ballot can only help, especially if he's not even being included in polls.

    Similarly, North Carolina, which a couple of weeks ago was beginning to look like it was going toward Romney, seems to be trending back a little toward the President. Early voting numbers there are pretty good for the President, too.

    If the President can carry VA and NC, in addition to Ohio, that's pretty much the race right there.

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