How a Jim Webb independent presidential bid could actually matter — hint: Virginia (Washington Post – The Fix)

Washington Post
Opinion Column By Stephen J. Farnsworth

Former senator Jim Webb (Va.) never got any traction in the Democratic presidential primary. And by the end, his campaign was more of a punchline than a real factor — better known for Webb recalling a man he apparently killed in Vietnam than anything else.

But if Webb proceeds with an independent run for president next year, as he has said he might, he appears likely to shake up the campaign in the state where he is known best — a state that just happens to be among the most vital swing states.

Webb polled between 13 percent and 19 percent among registered Virginia voters in four three-way match-ups against leading Democratic and Republican candidates for president, according to a new survey sponsored by the University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies. Although it doesn’t appear that Webb could win the state, he could certainly prove to be a factor that both major parties have to contend with — and could swing the state for one side or another, even if he takes less than double digits.

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