Was it a case of low expectations, or just being grounded to reality? Whichever it was, the Constitution Party, the 3rd largest political party in the country by registered members, had a measurably and significantly lower objective for the 2012 presidential election compared to its competition outside of the big two: to attain ballot access in at least forty states, in the words of its nominee for president, former Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode.
Theoretically, the party should've been a big hit, especially in the ideologically polarizing 2012. Formerly called the United States Taxpayers' Party, it was founded in 1991 to reestablish the American Constitutional Republic, a concept centered on the Founding documents (the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights).
The party, and Goode, did achieve their target, after eventually being listed on the ballot in 42 states, including 16 write-ins. However, it only secured 0.09% of the popular vote, one fourteenth of the total obtained by the Libertarian and Green Party - whose combined registered membership is lower than the Constitution Party.
An observer we spoke to remarked that the party's message of returning the nation to its founding principles somehow got lost in its attempt to attract the conservative votes by out trumping tea party positions.
Needless to say, a new strategy will obviously be expected from the party's 2016 presidential candidate - the question is, will it be able to find another high profile candidate in the mold of Virgil Goode to spearhead its challenge, and maintain its presence among the nation's political elite?