Photo by Jewel Samad, AFP.
WASHINGTON -- The Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson and the Constitution Party's Virgil Goode are long shots for winning the presidency. Yet they conceivably stand a chance at influencing this year's election.
Until recently both were Republican officeholders. Johnson served two terms as governor of New Mexico and Goode six terms as a congressman from Virginia.
President Barack Obama's political team sees them as potentially unwilling allies who could steal votes from Republican rival Mitt Romney and help the president to victory in a few tightly contested states.
In most modern elections, third party candidates haven't swayed the results, and even those who poll strongly early in the campaign eventually fizzle.
Still, in a close race, even a sliver of the vote in a crucial state could be pivotal.
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press
The Associated Press