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24th December
2011
written by Sean Noble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The absolute first rule of a campaign is to get on the ballot.  All the money, campaign commercials, mailers, emails and phone calls in the world don’t mean a hill of beans if you aren’t actually on the ballot.

In most states, for most races, that means collecting some designated amount of petition signatures in order to qualify for the ballot.  In Arizona, for example, a congressional candidate usually must turn in between 500 and a 1,000 petition signatures.  Most usually turn in two our three times that, in case there are invalid signatures or petitions.

So it is a bit surprising to learn that both Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot in Virginia.

This is a monumental failure.  There is literally no excuse.  Rick Perry has piles of cash and jumped into the race in late summer.  The Gingrich campaign is headquartered in Virginia and he’s been running for more than a year.

This is one of those epic fails that could come back to haunt either Perry or Gingrich or both.  In Perry’s case, if he did get a late surge, this will stop him in his tracks.  In Gingrich’s case, this will make his path to the nomination much more difficult if he is still a contender on Super Tuesday.  Ironically, Gingrich leads Romney in polls in Virginia – but now it won’t matter.

Should Republican primary voters care whether a candidate gets on the ballot in an early primary state?  I think so.  If they can’t accomplish the most fundamental of tasks to run for President, I don’t think they should be running the country.

 

UPDATE:

The Washington Examiner reports:

Gingrich’s campaign, having failed to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, released this statement, decrying the entire process and promising to run as a write-in candidate:

“Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot.  Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates.  We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Do we really want a nominee who fails to abide by the process, which others did abide, and then decry the process when you fail?  Newt is showing his true colors on this one, and it ain’t pretty.

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2 Comments

  1. Woody
    24/12/2011

    Thanks Sean for being the first to really call these guys out on this. I think it really shows that neither of them (or their supporters) thought they could or would make it this far. If neither has the organization or ability to set priorities to get on the ballot, then they sure don’t have a snowball’s chance against the Obama machine, much less the ability to organize the entire Executive branch and govern effectively. Gingrich’s press release sound more like something he’d mock on the campaign stump as whining about the rule of law.

  2. 24/12/2011

    Perhaps Virginia (and Arizona) should abolish their tax funded primaries both of which are both just as relevant (which is to say they are irrelevant) as last weeks Republican presidential poll by CNN.

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