So, how did former Rocky Mount congressman Virgil Goode’s candidacy as the Constitution Party standard-bearer for president do on Election Day?
Well, for starters, his campaign did not make the difference in Virginia, as some Republicans feared it might.
To be sure, the Democrat-turned-independent-turned-Republican-turned-Constitution Party candidate tried to siphon off votes from Mitt Romney (more on that below), but it didn’t matter. Obama eked out a bare majority of the vote in Virginia (50.07%, according to the latest numbers from the State Board of Elections), so even if all of Goode’s votes had gone to Romney, Obama would have still won.
Nationwide, Goode finished fifth.
In Virginia, he finished fourth with less than fourth-tenths of one percent of the vote.
Obama (Democrat) 50.05%
Romney (Republican) 47.9%
Johnson (Libertarian) 0.96%
Stein (Green) 0.34%
Goode (Constitution) 0.08%
I’ve found different totals on different sites, as states continue to tabulate their vote. The highest figure I found for Goode was 115,315 votes nationwide. On the sites I checked, he showed up on 21 states. If that holds up, Goode will have run behind the Constitution Party’s 2008 candidate, Chuck Baldwin, who took 199,437 votes or 0.15% .
Goode didn’t crack the 1 percent mark anywhere. His best states, percentage-wise, were South Dakota (0.7%) and Wyoming (0.6%), which makes sense since those state are more conservative — although there were plenty of other conservative states where he was way lower than that.
In terms of raw votes, Goode got the most votes in Michigan, where he tallied 16,607 (good enough for 0.4%). Virginia was his second-best state, with 13,482 votes (or 0.36%).
So let’s look at Virginia:
Obama (Democrat): 1,893,740 or 50.7%
Romney (Republican) 1,782,439 or 47.7%
Johnson (Libertarian) 30,462 or 0.82%
Goode (Constitution) 13,482 or 0.36%
Stein (Green) 8,405 or 0.23%
Not surprisingly, Goode did best in Virginia in Southside and Southwest. He took 2.58% of the vote in his home county, Franklin County, and topped 2% in Carroll County and Craig County as well.
Surprisingly, though, his best locality was in Westmoreland County, on the Northern Neck, where he took a whopping 4.15% of the vote. I have no explanation for this.
In all, he topped 1 percent in 13 localities: Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin County, Galax, Grayson, Henry, Martinsville, Patrick County, Pulaski County, Roanoke, Westmoreland and Wythe. All of those are out our way except for Westmoreland. Odd. If anyone has an explanation, we’d love to hear it.
Floyd County was an interesting one. It’s the only locality where Goode and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, both topped 1%. For what it’s worth, Johnson’s best locality was Montgomery County, where he took 1.73% of the vote. He ran strongest in college towns, with Radford, Harrisonburg and Fredericksburg being among his highest percentage places.
We noted that Goode did try to draw votes away from Romney. I’ve heard from two people in the Roanoke Valley who returned home on Election Night — after voting — and found not one, not two, not three, but four (!) Goode mailings in their mailbox. Obviously delivered a little late to do any good!
Each one specifically attacked Romney –two for allegedly shipping jobs to China, one for allegedly attacking coal (when he was governor of Massachusetts) and one for not being supportive enough of gun rights.
Three of the four then played up “Southside Virginia’s own Virgil Goode” in contrast to “Massachusetts Mitt Romney.”
Here’s a sampling of what they looked like: