Gingrich also fails to qualify for Virginia ballot; Update: Gingrich promises write-in campaign; Update: Are write-ins for primaries illegal in VA?

posted at 9:15 am on December 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, what’s the big deal?  It’s only, er, the state in which Gingrich currently lives:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has failed to qualify for Virginia’s March 6 Republican primary, a development that complicates his bid to win the GOP presidential nomination.

“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday on its Twitter website.

This follows the failure of Rick Perry to make the primary ballot, announced earlier last night.  Which is more egregious?  Perry had a lot more money and resources on which to call to get his ducks in a row than Gingrich, but this is Gingrich’s home state now, and has been for the last 12 years.  A basic test in the primaries is whether a candidate can win his home state, so the failure to even qualify for the ballot is an even worse failure.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time, either.  Gingrich’s numbers had already been falling in Iowa, but there had been a sense that the slide had been arrested, if not started to reverse itself a little.  This failure calls into question Gingrich’s managerial competence all over again, which has taken a beating throughout this campaign — first when his staff walked out on him, and later when former House colleagues began to recall the circumstances of the rebellion that took place just a couple of years into his speakership.

The Virginia GOP can’t be enjoying this, either.  Right now it looks like their early-ish March 6th primary will be an embarrassing flop, offering commonwealth Republicans a choice only between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.  One has to wonder whether the state party will be spending their Christmas holiday looking for loopholes to add the rest of the field to the ballot — and if they do, how they plan to defend themselves against likely court challenges from Romney, Paul, or their supporters.  Right now, the suddenly impermeable ballot of Virginia is making the case for Romney on competence alone.

Drink heavily the eggnog this evening and next, my friends.

Update: Commenter Cindy Munford asks, “Mr. Morrissey, why didn’t Rep. Bachmann, Sen. Santorum, and Gov. Huntsman even bother to submit petitions? It sure makes it seem like Virginia wasn’t a priority, why is that?”  Er … why are you asking my dad?  Oh — “Mr. Morrissey” is me? Well, OK.  Bachmann and Santorum don’t have the resources to put people on the ground in Virginia; they’re both sinking everything they have into Iowa.  I don’t think anyone expected them to qualify for the Virginia ballot.  Huntsman does have considerable resources, and he should have been able to compete in Virginia, so I’m not sure why he didn’t bother to try.

Dad says hello, by the way.

Update II: Team Gingrich lays this at the feet of Virginia, and promises “an aggressive write-in campaign”:

“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.”

Well, the same “failed system” allowed six GOP and six Democratic campaigns to qualify for the ballot in 2008 — including, as Doug Mataconis reminds us, those establishment candidates Alan Keyes [see below, no] and Dennis Kucinich.  I’m pretty sure neither of those campaigns were drowning in cash this time four years ago, either. As for the potential success of a write-in campaign, it’s difficult to see how that will work when Gingrich’s team couldn’t even get enough people on the street to sign their own names to petitions, let alone write his name on a ballot.

Update III: Steve Eggleston offers a devastating comment to Team Gingrich’s attempt to accuse Virginia of blocking ballot access:

I’d like to know whether he considers Bachmann, Huntsman, or Santorum not a major candidate, or whether he realizes none of those three so much as submitted signatures.

Are they paying attention at all?

Update IV: Actually, Doug’s wrong [see next upate] — Keyes wasn’t on 2008 GOP primary ballot, but it did have six candidates: Paul, Romney, McCain, Fred Thompson, Huckabee, and Giuliani.  Democrats had six as well: Obama, Kucinich, Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson, Biden, and John Edwards.  And as I recall, the Fred Thompson campaign wasn’t exactly known for its energy and accomplishment.

Update V: I’m the one who got Doug’s tweet wrong, not Doug; he said Keyes got on the ballot in 2000, not 2008, which is true and goes directly to the same point.  But even worse, it appears that the pledge to run a write-in campaign in Virginia has one eeensy little obstacle …. it’s illegal:

At all elections except primary elections it shall be lawful for any voter to vote for any person other than the listed candidates for the office by writing or hand printing the person’s name on the official ballot…

Doug marvels at how a major campaign could get this so wrong:

That’s the first sentence of Virginia Code Section 24.2-644(C). Considering that Newt is a resident of the Commonwealth one would think his campaign would be aware of such things. Actually, one would think his campaign would have been on top of this thing months ago.

Well … yeah.

Update VI: Some are asking if the requirements for petition signatures changed between 2008 and 2010.  They did in 2010, but they appear to have gotten easier to collect, not more difficult.  Instead of requiring a Social Security number for each signature, the law was changed from shall to may, only for the last four digits of the SSN.

Update VII: So how long did Perry, Gingrich, and everyone else have to collect their signatures?  Steve Eggleston says more than five months:

In case you were in a cave this week, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann failed to turn in any signatures to get on Virginia’s March 6 Presidential primary ballot, while Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich had enough of their under-12,000 signatures (11,911 and 11,050 respectively) signatures invalidated by the Republican Party of Virginia that they too missed the 10,000 (with at least 400 from each of the 11 Congressional districts). …

For those of you wondering whether the 10,000 threshhold is so strenuous, nobody but the best-funded candidates can make the grade, do note tha the candidates could start collecting signatures back on July 1, and thus had over 5 1/2 months to get to 10,000. Further, there were 6 candidates on the 2008 Republican and 6 candidates on the 2008 Democrat Virginia primary ballots, including Dennis Kucinich on the Democrat side.


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Oy.

celtic warrior on December 24, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Good times.

/

BallisticBob on December 24, 2011 at 9:19 AM

I was just saying that I know this isn’t Romney’s fault, however it makes me dislike him even more. I don’t like the inevitability of his nomination. I feel like I don’t have a choice in the matter and that he is being forced on me. I know that it is Romney’s turn but come on!

joekenha on December 24, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Its,Its Its, a CONSPIRACY.

gerry-moderate republican-mittbot-conspiracy theorist

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 9:21 AM

If nothing else comes of this election, it will at least drive more of us to our knees or to the bars. One or the other.

JellyToast on December 24, 2011 at 9:21 AM

This makes no sense.

Both Perry and Gingrich turned in over 11,000 signatures. Are we to believe that both had over 1,000 signatures disqualified? This seems statistically improbable to me.

I smell a rat.

This isn’t over.

mitchellvii on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

a choice only between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul

I’d have to stay home.

backwoods conservative on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Just a few days ago people were talking about how if Ron Paul would take Iowa, the establishment would coalesce around Romney. Guess how they’re going to make that happen. Gingrich and Perry both turned in more than 11k signatures, well over the 10k requirement… and now they’re both disqualified?

Caiwyn on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Newt’s organization, such as it is, can’t handle the basic stuff. It doesn’t get easier from here on.

entropent on December 24, 2011 at 9:23 AM

That makes the “the thinning of the herd” comment that seem kinda wishful thinking.

conservativeBC on December 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Both Perry and Gingrich turned in over 11,000 signatures. Are we to believe that both had over 1,000 signatures disqualified? This seems statistically improbable to me.
mitchellvii on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

“Republican party officials for weeks had advised the campaigns to submit at least 15,000 signatures to assure they had a sufficient number of valid signings.” (Wall St. Journal)

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

For being right, conservatives sure are dumb.

Second look at self induced coma?

caverduc on December 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only two candidates to get their names on the ballot. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are also the only candidates who ran in 2008. I guess the experience helped.

SoulGlo on December 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

My support has defaulted to Newt.

But, how critical would I be if this were someone I didn’t support?

Definitely rethinking my position, no one besides Romney qualified in Virginia (the troll doesn’t count); default to Romney?

mockmook on December 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Mr. Morrissey, why didn’t Rep. Bachmann, Sen. Santorum, and Gov. Huntsman even bother to submit petitions? It sure makes it seem like Virginia wasn’t a priority, why is that?

Cindy Munford on December 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

This is also because of the stupid gamesmanship that goes on in politics. Like Bishop, everyone wants to be first. They should have uniform rules throughout the states, regarding national elections, and everyone votes on the same day just like the general elections.

Vince on December 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

mitchellvii on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

according to what i read, Perry only delivered about 8,000 signatures and Gingrich had more than 2000 without addresses.

that what I read. I have no proof.

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were the only two candidates to get their names on the ballot. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are also the only candidates who ran in 2008. I guess the experience helped.

SoulGlo on December 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

Nothing more than this. Operation was already in place.

Vince on December 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Forget the eggnog I need Pepto Bismol! So “Lawn Gnome” it is! What an utter mess. {shakes head and begins to silently weep} Maybe someone in 2016 can get it right if we survive another Obama term…

tims472 on December 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Mr. Morrissey, why didn’t Rep. Bachmann, Sen. Santorum, and Gov. Huntsman even bother to submit petitions? It sure makes it seem like Virginia wasn’t a priority, why is that?

Cindy Munford on December 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

The likely excuse is money. It isn’t cheap to collect 10,000 signatures. I think I mentioned on last night’s thread that Rudy Giuliani had a full-time lawyer exclusively on the Virginia ballot issue, and that they had a staff burning an entire weekend checking their signatures.

With that said, the 2008 Virginia primaries had 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats on it.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

One student messes up an assignment it’s his fault. Half the class does and there was a problem with the assignment. Virginia needs to look long and hard at their ballot qualification procedures.

radjah shelduck on December 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Numerically – in terms of delegates lost – it doesn’t matter much unless this contest comes down to the wire…

Perception/momentum wise is another story. As Ed has just demonstrated here. The press on this will be brutal. The talking heads – for days – will advance this as evidence of a campaigns lack of money, organization, and credibility.

The negative impact that this brings should have been easily avoided.

TBBT on December 24, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Anyone wanna lay odds that the head of the Virginia GOP, or a good chunk of the top leadership, are Paulbots or Romney supporters? They are going to have to explain this in detail to the rest of the country.

thuljunior on December 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

I don’t understand this whole thing- the primaries are unnecessarily confusing. Put them all on the same day, make them available only to registered Republicans, and select the candidate based on that. Hold the vote the first Tuesday in May, or something and restrict official campaigning to one year. If by January 1 of the primary year you’re garnering 1% of the polls by RCP, you’re on the ballot.

BKeyser on December 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

The only viable choice left is Trump 2012. Look, Romney has less than 5% support in some southern states. Let’s kick Romney off some other ballots as well. Anybody but Romney!

jjnco73 on December 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

I’m done with Gingrich and Perry. I will never voter for Paul – I expect his primary vote total will be very close to the number of signatures submitted.

I guess I’m now a Mittster. Because he has his sh** together.

JeffWeimer on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

In the mean time, Wisconsin is allowing Mickey Mouse the chance to recall Gov. Walker. What a world!!! Virginia may want to rethink this next time since it would appear that in economically tough times they become even more inconsequential.

Cindy Munford on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Oh goody! And right when the Hot Air news feed is showing a WSJ hit where Romney would consider a VAT

(face palm)

Is it too early to start drinking?

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

One student messes up an assignment it’s his fault. Half the class does and there was a problem with the assignment. Virginia needs to look long and hard at their ballot qualification procedures.

radjah shelduck on December 24, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Yep!

Vince on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Is that the smell of Third Party fear in the air?

singlemalt 18 on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Mr. Morrissey, why didn’t Rep. Bachmann, Sen. Santorum, and Gov. Huntsman even bother to submit petitions? It sure makes it seem like Virginia wasn’t a priority, why is that?

Cindy Munford on December 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

The likely excuse is money. It isn’t cheap to collect 10,000 signatures. I think I mentioned on last night’s thread that Rudy Giuliani had a full-time lawyer exclusively on the Virginia ballot issue, and that they had a staff burning an entire weekend checking their signatures.
With that said, the 2008 Virginia primaries had 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats on it.
Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:27 AM

With a state the size of Virginia if you can’t find 50 volunteers to find 200 supporters each, you’ve got a bigger problem than money.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Both Perry and Gingrich turned in over 11,000 signatures. Are we to believe that both had over 1,000 signatures disqualified? This seems statistically improbable to me.

mitchellvii on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Allow me to introduce you to Wisconsin Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette). During last summer’s recalls, he submitted between 440 and 450 signatures to get on the ballot for the recall of Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). The Government Accountability Board whacked that down to 424 on its initial cursory review, and the Democrat Party of Wisconsin got the GAB to toss another 26. Hence, Hansen easily survived the recall against a flawed candidate (who was also the person who led the group that got Hansen on the recall ballot).

Hence, a rejection rate of 10% isn’t exactly out of the bounds of possibility.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

I go on vacation and come back to this mess? Good Grief. At least it is Christmas. Guess I know what some people want in their stocking.

txmomof6 on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

I highly doubt a conspiracy as Newt held an event with the RPV on Thursday. Remember VA require 400 Registered voters signatures that match the voting records exactly per district and 10,000 in total.

There are around 8MM people in VA, over 4MM active registered voters and over 1.4MM voted in November for state election
s. Zero excuse for not having plenty of valid signatures.

jonkk on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Irony via website solely devoted to Ballot Access News:

Governor Perry is one of only two Governors, in the last 60 years, who vetoed a bill to improve ballot access. On May 20, 2003, he had vetoed HB 1274, which deleted a Texas requirement that petition circulators must read a 93-word statement to every voter they approach. The bill had passed both houses of the legislature unanimously. The statement, which is still in the Texas law, thanks to Perry’s veto, said, “I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle the (whichever) Party to have its nominees placed on the ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I have not voted in a primary election or participated in a convention of another party during this voting year, and I understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election ballot in the same election is prohibited.”

Forcing a circulator to read this lengthy statement slows down the progress of any circulator, and shows that, at least in 2003, Governor Perry had no interest in fair ballot access. But, maybe the recent Virginia experience will affect his attitude about ballot access barriers.

That being said I’d like to know more about how long these VA rules have been in effect. Yes, it’s important that candidates demonstrate they have the organizational skills needed to be President, and this is particularly true when taking on an incumbent Prez, but this is a crazy situation and the backlash will be very damaging because of the perception of unfairness (whether or not the process is actually unfair or not).

Buy Danish on December 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

This is why I hate the current primary system. My choices are Mittens & Paul? I choose neither. I flat out refuse to vote for either one.

thekytikat on December 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

So we are left with Santoram (sp). Works for me.

Rancher on December 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

I guess there’s a reason the “establishment” GOP is “establishment”.

rhombus on December 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

It’ll be interesting to hear from The Newt’s fans after yesterday’s snark that Perry “isn’t qualified to be president” because he fell short on the signature-gathering.

My tinfoil-hat thought is that someone is playing tricks to artificially “thin the herd” in support of their favorite candidate.

MrScribbler on December 24, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Is it too early to start drinking?

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

It’s 5 p.m. somewhere–drink up!

predator on December 24, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

I’d wait a half hour, what would the neighbors think!!!!!

Cindy Munford on December 24, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I don’t understand this whole thing- the primaries are unnecessarily confusing. Put them all on the same day, make them available only to registered Republicans, and select the candidate based on that. Hold the vote the first Tuesday in May, or something and restrict official campaigning to one year. If by January 1 of the primary year you’re garnering 1% of the polls by RCP, you’re on the ballot.

BKeyser on December 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

This is ALL BY DESIGN…

This is how the two party system maintains control; just like the rest of our government and laws, it is not supposed to work independently or efficiently.

Or even make sense for that matter.

singlemalt 18 on December 24, 2011 at 9:35 AM

…and the numbers keep falling…
Well, we only need one of them to run against the BO.

rightmom2 on December 24, 2011 at 9:35 AM

FWIW — I put my ideas for revamping the GOP Primary on my blog – http://www.yuriar.com/politics/?p=201 – The whole primary system is FUBAR and needs to change.

thekytikat on December 24, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Say what you will about Obama, but at least he was competent enough to simply qualify for election.

Mord on December 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Hey guys, its’ just friggin Virginia.

Newt will already have the nomination sewn up long before we even get to VA. It’s a moot point.

mitchellvii on December 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

There’s no excuse for Newt not making the ballot in his home state. You got to figure he could have gotten at least 20,000 signatures from his K Street cronies and former colleagues at Fanny and Freddie, all of whom most certainly live in Northern Virginia.

Perry deserves scorn as well for also turning in the bare minimum. You want to be the leader of the free world? Well, phoning it in during your campaign doesn’t cut it. That goes for Bachman, Santorum, and Hunstman as well.

Apparently they all figured it would be over by March, so why should they bother putting any effort into later states? IMO< this is proof we need to do away with a rolling series of individual primaries and got to either a regional primary system or a full blown single winner- take- all primary in March. Screw giving sparsely populated and, except for the oversized roll they play in primaries, completely insignificant states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina attention that their overall contribution to the national interest doesn't deserve. Make the candidates work for every vote from the beginning to end.

Dukeboy01 on December 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Epic Fail! Can’t say I’m surprised about either one, to be honest. The sooner incompetent, pro-illegal alien amnesty doofus Rick Perry and serial adulterer and Freddie Mac lobbyist Newt Gingrich withdraw from the race, the better.

If the situation were reversed and Romney had been the one who failed to produce enough signatures, then a lot of you would be screaming about how laws must be obeyed and how it’s just too bad for Romney.

Romney is going to get the nomination and then win the presidency. President Romney will be an excellent president!

bluegill on December 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

Look like it’s going to be Romney, folks. That’s OK. On his worst, most flip-floppy day, he is far better than the current occupant of the White House. Lots of indies and democrats-lite will vote for him, he’ll win, and Obama will have been rejected. Moochelle will have to pack up her $800 shoes, move back to that middle class house in Chicago, and start paying for her own vacations. The Obamamedia will cry and cry and stomp their feet and never, ever tell anyone that half of them voted for Romney because their boyfriend was such a failure. And Romney will help the down ticket and have a fairly conservative Congress guiding his hand. It’s all good. Merry Christmas!

Rational Thought on December 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The Republican party had best get it’s act together. I for one am tired of holding my nose and voting for the least bad choice. Add to this debacle, the idiocy of taking on the Dems over the ‘tax cut’ and being soundly thrashed, proclaiming loudly of all the ‘progress’ they made on the spending bill, only to watch Obama kill all of it with signing statements. I can see what will happen to the Keystone Pipeline – signing statement ahead. Out of the entire population of the Republican Party, Mittens and MadDoc are the best we can offer????? I understand why many will not run because of the attacks the LSM will levy against their family and friends, but c’mon – adapt, invent, overcome.

Grumpy Curmudgeon on December 24, 2011 at 9:38 AM

The reason Gingrich, Perry etc. don’t have enough signatures is because they have an enthusiasum void. Nobody will walk on glass for them. Like it or not, they would for Paul. Romneycare has less enthusiasm than all but he buys workers.

The republican establishment NEEDS to get the only possible candidate that will get conservatives excited, Governor palin. If not, Romneycare, paul or Gingrich will lose in a landslide in the general with conservatives like me not voting.

Danielvito on December 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

So many people having so many problems, all in the same state….hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

KOOLAID2 on December 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Yeah …and you guys are trying to destroy Ron Paul the one candidate that can compete against Mitt Romney and defeat Obama. As if all your doing is JUST REPORTING the NEWS! The same way the conservative media force Herman Cain out of the race the candidate that the people wanted. If your candidate can’t beat them just discredit them. I smell bias or a Major Man Crush on Mittens and Newt!

Mean while Mitt and Newt have sponsor of companies and advisors with $40 billion in Goverment Contracts at stake. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-23/republican-security-advisers-tied-to-40-billion-in-contracts.html

Oh yeah, just reporting news. Must have missed that ONE! Here some news thats more worthy for you to report!

Rush Limbaugh endorses Ron Paul plan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t96QPXbA0g

http://www.thenewamerican.com/history/american/8677-ron-paul-as-an-anti-communist-cold-warrior

Capitalist75 on December 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Numerically – in terms of delegates lost – it doesn’t matter much unless this contest comes down to the wire…

Perception/momentum wise is another story. As Ed has just demonstrated here. The press on this will be brutal. The talking heads – for days – will advance this as evidence of a campaigns lack of money, organization, and credibility.

The negative impact that this brings should have been easily avoided.

On the upside… This happened right before Christmas. That fact alone might blight out the impact of this story to some degree. People’s attention won’t return until Monday.

So – in terms of the impact to the arrested/reversed slide of Newt’s numbers that Ed mentioned – what will the impact really be?

Hard to see into my crystal ball on that one. Forecast. Hazy.

TBBT on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Hence, a rejection rate of 10% isn’t exactly out of the bounds of possibility.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Especially if you consider that they have to be verified as registered voters.

Oldnuke on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Obama’s second term is no longer a disappearing speck on the horizon. Talk about not being able to find your ass with both hands, a flashlight, and a map, a compass, and a GPS with turn by turn voice directions. F’ the GOP.

ElectricPhase on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

There are around 8MM people in VA, over 4MM active registered voters and over 1.4MM voted in November for state elections. Zero excuse for not having plenty of valid signatures.

jonkk on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Why are a certain amount of signatures needed to get on a primary ballot in Virgini?. Why not just pay a fee to get on the ballot and make it large enough to keep Mickey Mouse from filing? I believe most laws are made to keep laeyers in business.

Vince on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Have all of Romney’s and Paul’s signatures been checked for dotted i’s?

ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

a choice only between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul

I’d have to stay home.

backwoods conservative on December 24, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Not me. Given that choice, I’d pick Ron Paul. Paul has been right on economic issues and has been consistently pro-life. Romney has not… from supporting TARP to saying whatever was convenient at the moment to get elected:

“I’m not a partisan Republican. I’m someone that is moderate, and my views are progressive

We don’t need progressive Republicans any more than we need progressive Democrats.

ITguy on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Both Perry and Gingrich turned in over 11,000 signatures. Are we to believe that both had over 1,000 signatures disqualified? This seems statistically improbable to me.

Have you ever known anyone who worked collecting signatures? They aren’t all die hard fans of the candidates. Some of them are loadie college students picking up community service hours. I used to sign petitions with bogus names all the time when I was in school.

BettyRuth on December 24, 2011 at 9:41 AM

With a state the size of Virginia if you can’t find 50 volunteers to find 200 supporters each, you’ve got a bigger problem than money.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

The question is whether Virginia has a rule that limits one to signing only one candidate’s nomination papers per office. If that’s the case, then there’s at least 40,000 Republicans (IIRC, they have to be registered Repubilcans in VA) that Santorum, Bachmann and Huntsman could not get signatures from.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Say what you will about Obama, but at least he was competent enough to simply qualify for election.

Mord on December 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Obama’s competent enough to clear the field. Which is not a good way to win.

ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM

What’s the problem? Just vote for Ron Paul then.

tarznatz on December 24, 2011 at 9:43 AM

In honor of my home state of WI – embroiled in its own election fiasco… I believe I be adding some brandy to my coffee this morning. Romney… Ugh.

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:43 AM

The Gingrinch just stole my Christmas.

ElectricPhase on December 24, 2011 at 9:44 AM

In honor of my home state of WI – embroiled in its own election fiasco… I believe I be adding some brandy to my coffee this morning. Romney… Ugh.

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Oh, you’re supposed to add coffee to the brandy? :-)

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Dad says hello, by the way.

Tell him I say “Hey” and I can take a hint.

Cindy Munford on December 24, 2011 at 9:45 AM

The republican establishment NEEDS to get the only possible candidate that will get conservatives excited, Governor palin. If not, Romneycare, paul or Gingrich will lose in a landslide in the general with conservatives like me not voting.

Danielvito on December 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Do you have anyone running for Senate or Representative? Do you have any local conservatives running for office in your state? Why the heck would you stay home on election day just because you don’t like the choice you have for President?

Vince on December 24, 2011 at 9:45 AM

except for the oversized roll they play in primaries, completely insignificant states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina attention that their overall contribution to the national interest doesn’t deserve. Make the candidates work for every vote from the beginning to end.

Dukeboy01 on December 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM

The only rational I can possibly see of having these states go first is that if a candidate won and later dropped out, the effect of their delegates would be marginal – think what would happen to the delegates if a minor candidate (say Huntsman) won a major state such as Texas or California. That said, I think we need to go back to the old convention system and to H*** with all these primaries.

Grumpy Curmudgeon on December 24, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Looks like the establishment was right after all; Romney really is inevitable.

fed-nad on December 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM

The reason Gingrich, Perry etc. don’t have enough signatures is because they have an enthusiasum void. Nobody will walk on glass for them. Like it or not, they would for Paul.
Danielvito on December 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Yup.

Romneycare has less enthusiasm than all but he buys workers.

“The Romney campaign has a huge volunteer base in the state and began collecting its signatures months ago.”
WSJ

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Have all of Romney’s and Paul’s signatures been checked for dotted i’s?

ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

Paul’s have. Romney’s, not likely (while he was the only one to turn in the 15K signatures the VA GOP said would not trigger a review, I haven’t seen mentioned whether those included at least 600 claiming to be from each of Virginia’s Congressional districts).

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM

(IIRC, they have to be registered Repubilcans in VA) that Santorum, Bachmann and Huntsman could not get signatures from.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM

No, we don’t register as Democrat, Republican or any other denomination just as a voter. When you vote in the primary you tell the person checking your ID (yes you have to show ID) whether you’re voting in the Republican or the Democrat primary. They then direct you to the proper machines. You cannot vote in both it’s an either or situation.

Oldnuke on December 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM

These rules have been in place since 2000, don’t blame the system blame the candidate.

tbrickert on December 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Have all of Romney’s and Paul’s signatures been checked for dotted i’s?

ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM

My understanding is that Paul’s signatures will be scrutinized, but Romney’s will not.

Seriously.

Why? Because (10,000/400 each Congressional District) is the minimum, but new this year is a “safe harbor” that if you submit 50% more (15,000/600 each Congressional District) they just assume that you qualified.

Romney met that “safe harbor”, while Paul fell just short. So, even Paul could theoretically be disqualified if they end up disqualifying enough signatures to make him fall below 400 in even a single Congressional District, while Romney is guaranteed a spot on the ballot.

ITguy on December 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

a VAT as replacement for other taxes. what i like about it is EVERYBODY pays.

gerry-moderate republican-mittbot=tax expert

gerrym51 on December 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Do you know who understands election laws?

The day after New Year’s 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city’s South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama’s four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.

Fallon on December 24, 2011 at 9:48 AM

What’s the problem? Just vote for Ron Paul then.
tarznatz on December 24, 2011 at 9:43 AM

He’s as much Not-Romney as are the rest.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:48 AM

For being right, conservatives sure are dumb.

Second look at self induced coma?

caverduc on December 24, 2011 at 9:24 AM

aye

DHChron on December 24, 2011 at 9:49 AM

The republican establishment NEEDS to get the only possible candidate that will get conservatives excited, Governor palin. If not, Romneycare, paul or Gingrich will lose in a landslide in the general with conservatives like me not voting.

Danielvito on December 24, 2011 at 9:39 AM

So, if someone was attacking you with a knife…because you did not have a gun or knife…instead of at least trying to punch back…you’ll let him keep stabbing you. Makes sense to me!

KOOLAID2 on December 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

This is also because of the stupid gamesmanship that goes on in politics. Like Bishop, everyone wants to be first. They should have uniform rules throughout the states, regarding national elections, and everyone votes on the same day just like the general elections.

Vince on December 24, 2011 at 9:25 AM

Yes.

I don’t understand this whole thing- the primaries are unnecessarily confusing. Put them all on the same day, make them available only to registered Republicans, and select the candidate based on that. Hold the vote the first Tuesday in May, or something and restrict official campaigning to one year. If by January 1 of the primary year you’re garnering 1% of the polls by RCP, you’re on the ballot.

BKeyser on December 24, 2011 at 9:30 AM

And yes.

It could well be that neither Gingrich nor Perry had enough valid signatures on their petitions, but my suspicion is that this whole thing seems to be way too convenient an occurrence.

PatriotGal2257 on December 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

Good news for Ron Paul. I suspect those in the anti-Romney crowd will simply vote for Paul to deny Romney the delegates.

Cheetah1956 on December 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I guess I’m now a Mittster. Because he has his sh** together.

JeffWeimer on December 24, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Neither Romney or Paul will be scrutinized…because they had an arbitrary number of additional signatures which seems a bit capricious…

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Is that the smell of Third Party fear in the air?

singlemalt 18 on December 24, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Oh you mean a second Obama term? Yes I fear that!

CW on December 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

“The Romney campaign has a huge volunteer base in the state and began collecting its signatures months ago.”
WSJ

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Heh. Wanna bet that VA sticks with Obama in 2012?

ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

Worst primary ever.

terryannonline on December 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

These rules have been in place since 2000, don’t blame the system blame the candidate.

tbrickert on December 24, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Nobody believes in personal responsibility anymore. Blame all your problems on the government. Spend your campaign selling books and going on a cruise, then wonder WTF happened.

I’ll vote for someone who gets the job done, not an excuse maker.

hanzblinx on December 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

It could well be that neither Gingrich nor Perry had enough valid signatures on their petitions, but my suspicion is that this whole thing seems to be way too convenient an occurrence.

PatriotGal2257 on December 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

From what I’m hearing neither one even came close. Remember the signatures must be verifiable Virgina registered voters. Mickey Mouse won’t cut it.

Oldnuke on December 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Say what you will about Obama, but at least he was competent enough to simply qualify for election.

Mord on December 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Uhhhhhhhhhm…

DHChron on December 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

PatriotGal2257 on December 24, 2011 at 9:50 AM

It’s interesting that both were denied validity for close to same number of signatures? What are the odds?

workingclass artist on December 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

When your marquee candidates can’t even get on a primary ballot in a major state, you know your party is still in the political wilderness. Have fun, and may y’all make it out before 2028.

ernesto on December 24, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Heh. Wanna bet that VA sticks with Obama in 2012?

ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I’d take that bet, and I’d raise you a gee-dunk that it won’t even be close.

Oldnuke on December 24, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Cute statement from the Gingrich campaign:

Richmond, VA – Newt 2012 released the following statement from Campaign Director Michael Krull regarding ballot qualification in Virginia.

“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.”

I’d like to know whether he considers Bachmann, Huntsman, or Santorum not a major candidate, or whether he realizes none of those three so much as submitted signatures.

Steve Eggleston on December 24, 2011 at 9:53 AM

For all of you complaining about this, what is it that you are suggesting took place/should have happened instead:

1. VA GOP ignore rules and says never mind Perry/Etc did not submit enough signatures. They are true conservatives, so never mind rules that have been in place forever…

2. VA GOP is actually lying and Perry/etc did submit enough valid signatures. are you kidding???? you think they actually would incur that risk?

I do not understand how you think Perry could actually manage all a President needs to handle if he can even gather enough signatures with $15m in the bank. Just because he is from Texas, and has nice TV ads does not mean he is able to take the conservative cause forward.

emil12 on December 24, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Where’s the crystal ball that will tell us what Ron Paul’s foreign policy will be after he gets “the briefing?”

photom on December 24, 2011 at 9:54 AM

“The Romney campaign has a huge volunteer base in the state and began collecting its signatures months ago.”
WSJ
whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Heh. Wanna bet that VA sticks with Obama in 2012?
ddrintn on December 24, 2011 at 9:51 AM

I wouldn’t bet on anything this campaign season.

whatcat on December 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM

What is amazing to me, Lobbyist Gingrich and Crony Capitalist Perry have been in 10 debates, covered around the clock, had ads run etc. etc. and still can’t get 11,000 signatures in Virginia. They have had months to do this. Heck, only 2 people working one month could have easily accomplished this.

what this tells you is they have NO organization. What a joke. I have 4 years to get rid of Obama and this is what the republican establishment serves up Romneycare, Gingrich, Perry et al…

Fix this, you beltway swine! I want a true conservative to vote for!

Danielvito on December 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Say what you will about Obama, but at least he was competent enough to simply qualify for election.

Mord on December 24, 2011 at 9:36 AM

Say WHAT??? MFer doesn’t meet even the FIRST qualification, dipsh1t!

Long haired country boy on December 24, 2011 at 9:55 AM

We should be thankful we have a competent nominee in Romney rather than bitching and moaning about him. Look, in the future, we will have the possibility of Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Christ Christie, Haley Barbour, and other talented politicians. For 2012, we just need to get rid of the socialist in the White House. Romney is the best chance for that. And Romney is ok, if not our dream date.

thuja on December 24, 2011 at 9:56 AM

I believe I be adding some brandy to my coffee this morning. Romney… Ugh.

Neomom on December 24, 2011 at 9:43 AM

I’m going with the Bailey’s… If the neighbors are watching, they’ll think it’s cream.

Fallon on December 24, 2011 at 9:56 AM

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