In 3rd party candidates, Obama team sees promise

5:59 AM, Aug 1, 2012   |    comments
Photo by Jewel Samad, AFP.
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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

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