Written by: Joe Sciabica
March 6, 2012 will be the date of the Virginia Republican primaries, also known as Super Tuesday. However, the only familiar faces for the ballot will be limited to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Representative Ron Paul. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Governor Rick Perry were unable to obtain the 10,000 required signatures to be eligible for the Virginia ballot in the upcoming primary. It is also a requirement of the 10,000 signatures to come from registered voters with at least 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts of Virginia.
The Gingrich campaign attempted to collect enough signatures in time but was unsuccessful, leaving them to search for alternative methods to somehow be eligible. Already there are arguments attacking both the rules of the Virginia primary and Gingrich’s campaign. Some people claim that a technicality should not stop the voters of Virginia to fully express their democratic rights and voices by not having a full list of candidates. Others claim that all of the blame lies with the candidate’s campaign and that a lack of organization is the real cause of Gingrich not being on the ballot. It is just a reflection of how Gingrich runs anything he is in charge of.
Wherever the blame is deserved can be debated, but it a sure thing that this will be a huge detriment to Gingrich’s run for the Republican candidate. Gingrich is currently behind Paul and Romney in the Iowa polls for the January 3 Caucasus. According to a Quinnipiac University poll of Virginia republicans, Gingrich is currently ahead of both Paul and Romney which means little for Gingrich as he will not be a choice on the ballot.
It is also uncertain whether Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum or Jon Huntsman will also be on the ballot. The Gingrich supporters may then be left with no choice but to select between Paul and Romney, either scenario being a bad one for Gingrich. If Romney were to win in Virginia, it would only reinforce his electability. If Paul is the victor, it may begin to dissolve the semblance of Paul being unelectable and become a real contender with the mass voters and mainstream media.
For Gingrich, this is a likely loss of 49 delegates if the Quinnipiac University poll and his popularity there as a resident correctly indicate is would have been assured victory. In any event, this will remind all candidates not to lose sight of the rules of the various state in their chases for votes among the people.