Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan has a message for defeated GOP contender Ron Paul’s legion of faithful followers.
If you vote for Ron Paul on election day you are voting to re-elect Barack Obama.
The same goes, he adds, if those unhappy with the party’s choice casts a protest vote for any other conservative or libertarian candidate who can’t possibly win.
During a campaign appearance in Lima, Ohio, Monday, an audience member asked Ryan:
For those of us who would have voted in the primaries for, say, Ron Paul, why should we vote for you and not, say, libertarians or Vermin Supreme and the Pony Party or something like that?
Do you want Barack Obama to be re-elected? Then don’t vote for Ron Paul.
In Virginia, Republicans are worried that Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, an ex-Congressman, could pull enough votes away from Romney to let Obama win in the Old Dominion.
“Voters want to express their frustration with the status quo and a protest vote for someone like Goode is a way to do that,” GOP strategist Ann Rawlings told Capitol Hill Blue.
Democratic strategists still point to the past presidential races where third-party candidates like activist Ralph Nader took enough votes away from their candidate to turn an election.
“Hanging chads in Florida didn’t help, but Nader’s place on the ballot cost Al Gore the election in 2000,” says Ben Lassiter, a former Democratic operative now retired.