For Virginia, Super Tuesday may not be so super after all. Due to a law in the state’s constitution requiring presidential candidates to gather 10,000 signatures of registered Virginia voters in order to be put on the ballot, the majority of the Republican candidates running for president in 2012 will not appear on voter’s ballots in the March 6 primary.
Only former Massachusetts governor, and current frontrunner, Mitt Romney and Texas Rep Ron Paul gathered the requisite amount of signatures by the set deadline and were thus deemed eligible.
On December 27 of 2011, Rick Perry, accompanied by fellow candidates Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, filed a lawsuit arguing that this eligibility requirement is unconstitutional and requested that his name be added to the ballot.
However, on January 13, U.S. District Judge John Gibney ruled against Perry and co., saying that, regardless of the constitutional validity of the requirement, they took too long to make any challenges to the rule, given that officials need a sufficient amount of time to print the ballots so that they may be distributed to overseas and absentee voters on time.
Rick Perry and Gingrich both filed an appeal the following day, but their bid seems futile as the court also refused to stall the printing process while waiting for an official court decision. Though the case was still pending, Gingrich subsequently dropped his suit.
So, how will this affect the primary and the overall race? Though Perry has dropped out of the presidential race completely, many, including Judge Gibney himself, agree that this eligibility requirement disenfranchises voters and is unconstitutional.
The biggest winner in this scenario might be Ron Paul, who could potentially give his campaign a boost if he manages to coalesce the anti-Romney vote that would otherwise have been split between several candidates. However, recent polls suggest that Romney has an overwhelming lead among Republican voters. More importantly, Obama has the edge over both primary candidates, though he is ahead of Romney by only a slim margin.
This divisiveness is setting up Virginia as a key battleground state not only for the upcoming GOP primary, but for the general election as well.
I’m sorry, but I would still vote for Romney, and see no other viable oitopns in our cast of candidates. I wish this weren’t true, but must face facts.a0Santorum is going to be crucified by the anti-religious left-and evena0Republicans who don’t like his invasive (not truly) moral standards.a0Trust me I lived through the Kick Rick Out campaign in 2006, and they beat him down bad. Perry will alsoa0get beat up by the left for all manner of his conservativeness and his performance in the early debates, and thena0get skewered in debates with Obama.a0 Gingrich is smart, but not savvy. I’d say he is whining enough now to lose any hopes he had. I won’t even talk Hunstman, and what’s left? OH, Paul.Forget about him. If he wins or runs as 3rd party, I will simply shoot myself. I am depressed enough without listening to all of the infighting, and the laughing by the left.I would hope thata0Romney the Rinoa0would pick a running mate of highest conservative values- such as West-or my dream ticket- Rubio! Now that I hear this, I suppose West would not be on that list, but if he would he would have my gratitude!God Help Us.