In a huge blow to the Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum and Huntsman campaigns, all of them have failed to meet the required 10,000 registered voter signature petition requirement to appear on the Virginia primary ballot taking place March 6, 2011. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have qualified for the primary.
Report from Politico:
WASHINGTON – 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.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also fell short of the 10,000 signatures of registered voters required for a candidate’s name to be on the primary ballot, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul will be on the ballot.
State GOP spokesman Garren Shipley said volunteers spent Friday validating petitions that the four candidates submitted by the Thursday 5 p.m. deadline to the State Board of Elections.
Failing to get on the ballot will be a major setback for Gingrich, who has tried to use his recent upsurge in popularity to make up for a late organizing start.
Reuters reports on the other campaigns:
Three other members of the Republican field trying to unseat Democratic President Barack Obama – former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum – did not meet the Thursday deadline for submitting petitions.
Gingrich has vowed a write-in campaign but it isn’t clear whether or not that is legal in the Virginia primary system. This is a huge win for Mitt Romney who will appear next to only Ron Paul on the ballot for Virginia primary voters. The Virginia delegates make up about 10% of the total Super Tuesday delegates so this could easily be a game changer.