Fiasco: Bachmann, Huntsman, Santorum fail to make Virginia ballot

posted at 8:00 pm on December 22, 2011 by Allahpundit

That’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that Perry and Gingrich, either one of whom could still become the Great Grassroots Hope against Romney, might not have qualified either. You need 10,000 signatures to make the ballot but 15,000 are recommended since a bunch are bound to be thrown out as false or duplicative as the petitions are scrutinized. You also need at least 600 signatures from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. Romney submitted 16,026 and Ron Paul submitted 14,361. Perry’s total: 11,911. Gingrich’s: 11,050. If they end up getting bounced, the Republican primary ballot for one of America’s key swing states will consist exclusively of … Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

You know who that benefits?

Romney was the first Republican presidential candidate to file his petitions. His Virginia campaign chairman, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, delivered them on Tuesday. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign filed earlier this month.

The State Board of Elections will turn over the petitions to the respective political parties for validating. Republican will begin the process Friday morning and have sought volunteers to help with the process…

The parties have until Tuesday at 5 p.m. to tell the State Board of Elections which candidates qualify for the March 6 primary ballot. The order of names will be decided by lottery on Wednesday.

Larry Sabato expects the state GOP will turn a “blind eye” to any signature problems on Perry’s or Gingrich’s petitions. I’ll bet. Question for political junkies, then: How could Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum have failed this epically? Is it a simple matter of lacking the resources to put people in the field collecting signatures or is it a sign of deep organizational dysfunction that should rightly disqualify them from the race? Every day, it seems, the bar for the nomination gets pushed a bit lower by the incompetence of someone running, and every day that makes me ever so slightly and grudgingly more open to the idea of nominating Romney. He gets his ballot homework in early; he doesn’t say catastrophically stupid things at the debates; he doesn’t have any racist newsletters to his record. He is, in other words, a minimally capable candidate, which apparently means he’s more capable than anyone else in the field. The one consolation if he wins is that we don’t have to worry about him, say, spacing on the date to file general-election petitions in Florida. Thank heaven for small favors.

Two clips for you, one from Romney’s PAC tearing into Perry and Gingrich and the other, from 1994, of Romney denouncing … attack ads. Have you noticed, by the way, that you never see an ad from Team Mitt laying out Ron Paul for any of the million shady things he’s said in the past even though he’s the frontrunner in Iowa right now? There’s a reason for that, of course, and Perry and Gingrich really, really, really need to start pointing it out soon. It won’t change any minds among the hardcore Paul fans, but not all of Paul’s supporters in Iowa are hardcore. Some are with him because they’re looking for a Not Romney, they like what he has to say on spending and abortion, and they haven’t heard much yet about those newsletters or the fact that, oh, for example, he wouldn’t have given the order to get Bin Laden. Those people need to understand the implications of their vote and Perry/Gingrich can drive it home to them in nine words: A vote for Paul is a vote for Romney. If they’re aware of that and want to vote Paul anyway, that’s fine, but let’s make sure they realize that they actually can choose the nominee this cycle — namely, Romney — with their vote on January 3rd. And they don’t have to vote for Romney to do it.


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