|Politics is blood sport.|
It now looks like only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the only two candidates to qualify for the ballot in Virginia. Everyone else did not comply robustly enough with the 10,000 signatures requirement to be on the ballot in that state. Except that they did. They didn't have enough to cover off the disqualified or contested signatures, which typically apparently means that to net out at 10,000, 15,000 signatures are required. That didn't happen. Gingrich is the latest one to fall;
Washington (CNN) -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich failed to collect enough signatures to appear on the Virginia primary ballot, the Republican Party of Virginia announced Saturday morning, leaving the longtime Virginia resident without a place on the state's ballot and raising questions about his campaign's organization.Gingrich, as well as Texas Gov. Rick Perry, did not meet the state's requirement of 10,000 signatures and, therefore, did not qualify for the ballot, the Virginia GOP said via Twitter.The state GOP announced Perry's failure to qualify late Friday.The news from the Virginia Republicans is a significant setback for Gingrich, who clamored earlier this week to gather enough voter signatures in the state. Gingrich utilized paid staffers to comb Virginia, asking voters to sign petitions that would allow him a place on the ballot.On Wednesday, Gingrich ensured a crowd of supporters he had met the threshold for appearing on the ballot, saying he had gathered anywhere from 12,000-14,000 signatures.Virginia requires candidates to obtain 10,000 signatures from registered voters, with 400 signatures coming from each of the commonwealth's eleven congressional districts.Gingrich's spokesman said Wednesday the effort to secure a spot on the Virginia ballot was meant to showcase the campaign's ground game.
Allahpundit at Hot Air has the exact exit question that we should be asking for Perry, but it applies to each and every candidate not on the ballot;
Exit question: Is this a disqualifying mistake on Perry’s part? If you can’t trust him to do his ballot homework, why trust him to run a tight ship in the general election against Obama?
My first instinct is that this is an establishment move to ensure a Romney win in Virginia. It's much easier to win with far less competition. Dirty pool? Maybe. But regardless, the rules are the rules and failure toy play the game properly does call into question organizational and leadership skills. It should serve as a wake up call to every candidate who considers themselves serious about the GOP nomination.