Newt Gingrich may have emerged as a frontrunner in the Republican primaries, but don’t look for him to win Virginia because he won’t even be on the ballot. At least that’s the current message coming from the state’s GOP leaders. The former Congressman had until earlier this week to fulfill the requirements, and apparently, he did not do so, which will cost him a chance at Virginia’s important fifty delegates on Super Tuesday.

Every state has different requirements for getting a candidate’s name on the ballot. Virginia, widely known for having one of the more rigorous processes, requires ten thousand valid signatures, four hundred of which must be from each of the eleven districts. According to The Washington Post, Gingrich’s campaign did in fact submit enough signatures, but too many of them were ultimately ruled invalid. Consequently, he’s out, as is Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman. If that sounds like a lot of candidates who didn’t make the cut, you’re right. The only two who will actually appear on the ballot are Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Gingrich, however, is the big loss as he was expected to be very competitive in the state. Here’s what his campaign had to say…
“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."

Unfortunately for Gingrich, write-ins are not allowed in Virginia primaries; so, either the party leaders will make a special exception for him, or he’ll be shit out of luck. Expect the latter to happen, and if the race ends up as close as it could be, for Gingrich to retrospectively blame his exclusion here. Primary races are all about momentum, and it’s hard to generate any when you’re sitting on the sidelines.

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