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Third party candidate could make difference for Romney in Virginia

Virgil Goode Jr. works the campaign trail in downtown Lynchburg, Va. Goode's presidential run is under the Constitution Party banner with his name on the ballot in a couple dozen states and as a qualified write-in candidate in several more. (AP Photo)

A third party presidential candidate with little chance of winning may be the deciding factor in Virginia. Virgil Goode, running for the Constitution Party, says he doesn’t regret putting his foot in, even though the votes the former Republican is pulling could be edging out Mitt Romney in a key battleground state.

He tells KIRO Radio’s Ross and Burbank Show that he sees little difference between the two main candidates, at least in the area he’s most concerned about.

“I’m the only candidate of any party that is for jobs in America, for American citizens first,” says Goode.

His overriding issue is a call for a freeze on legal immigration until the U.S. unemployment rate dips below 5 percent.

“If I’m president, we’re going to stop illegal immigration because we’re going to end the magnets that attract people to get here. I’m going to reduce legal immigration through a moratorium on green cards,” says Goode.

“It makes no sense to bring in foreign workers, many of whom are fairly well qualified, and they’re taking jobs from U.S. citizens.”

Republicans in Goode’s home state tried unsuccessfully to keep him off the ballot. Some say he could throw the race to Obama if the outcome depends on Virginia’s 13 electoral votes and Romney narrowly loses. A poll cited by the New York Times shows 1 percent of voters in the state may support Goode.

He’s concentrated his campaign mainly on Virginia, where he held state or federal office until his congressional defeat in 2008. First he was a Democrat, then an independent, and then moved over to the GOP for his final House three terms. His presidential run is under the Constitution Party banner.

Goode’s campaign, with a budget The NY Times reports at around $200,000, including $60,000 he contributed himself, has meant driving from state to state and staying in discount hotels.

While it seems he has little chance of winning, he tells Ross and Burbank he’s willing to put in the resources and effort because he’s tired of no one standing up for American workers.

“It’s really somewhat ludicrous to listen to both Obama and Romney ads saying they are for jobs in this country.”

Goode tells the Associated Press he doesn’t think either of the two most popular candidates will make a good president.

“It doesn’t matter to me if it’s Obama or Romney,” says Goode. “Obama has done a bad job and Romney will do a bad job.”

Goode is on the ballot in 26 states and a write-in candidate in 16 more.

“We’re on the ballot in Washington, we’re on the ballot in Idaho,” says Goode. “People can vote for us, and vote for citizenship, and vote for the Constitution.”

Dave Ross says at this point in time, considering the weight Goode is wielding with the potential to tip the scale in battleground Virginia, “that makes him one of the most powerful people in America.”

“And he was on our show,” Dave adds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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