BREAKING: Gingrich 2,000 Ballot Signatures Short?

UPDATE (2:43am):  …and it’s official.

@VA_GOP After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary.

We’re done here, folks.


UPDATE (1:41am):  Well folks… if you’re truly this interested, stick around for the RPV press release… otherwise, I relinquish control of the live-blogging and say g’night and Merry Christmas Eve!

UPDATE (1:39am): Final update from RPV should be coming in the next hour or so.  Still not looking good for Newt on the inside.

UPDATE (1:31am):  “Soon…” this will be over.  Still doesn’t sound good for Newt.

UPDATE (1.11am):  Ron Paul folks are already apoplectic that the verification is taking so long.  One RPer online is threatening lawsuits (yikes!) while most are calmly assessing this for what it is.  It does raise an interesting question: how will Ron Paul’s rank and file keep the loons — and they know who they are — in line so as not to scare away the mainstream folks?  If Ron Paul’s time has truly come… is the movement ready for their ranks to triple in size with a general election?  Or are they going to hand it to Romney with every “black helicopter” comment?

UPDATE (12.53am): Sources at RPV are telling me that the 2,000 signatures do not have addresses on them… meaning that they cannot be verified.  Newt Gingrich may very well be off the ticket in Virginia, folks…

Rumor has it this evening that one of the petition gatherers was not qualified to circulate petitions… which technically disqualifies those signatures in Virginia.

This would mean that the only two campaigns that qualified in the Virginia primary will be Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

However… and there’s always a however… former State Senator Marty Williams back in 2007 was accused of having a handler circulate petitions to get him on the ballot that was not legally able to do so.  The court ruled that, though the petitioner was not legally entitled to circulate the petitions, the enfranchisement of those who did sign the petitions trumped the lack of qualifications the petition gatherer held.

Ergo, even if this report is right, Gingrich will have the names needed to qualify for the Virginia ballot.

If… these reports are true…

  • Dave

    So, Gingrich’s campaign is so haphazard as they can’t even verify someone getting signatures? Can we expect this sloppiness from a presidential candidate that doesn’t have his act together?! Romney’s people were out during the summer and fall getting signatures.

  • Let’s say this though: those who could not make it on the ballot in Virginia at 10,000 names? DO NOT DESERVE TO BE ON THE BALLOT.

    That is just piss poor campaign grassroots right there…

  • Dave

    Gingrich’s campaign didn’t start getting signatures until last Sunday, Dec 18. Maybe he didn’t think he’d be around or maybe the RPV would just waive him in?

  • Mike

    No addresses? Wow.

  • Lovettsville Lady

    Now rumors abound that the Virginia RNC “fixed” the results to help Romney. Oy Vey.

    It is absolutely NOT true that the Gingrich campaign just began getting signatures. I signed one of his petitions back in early November. Five people were at a republican event getting signatures for Newt.

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  • Hey! Look at that! IP spammers get whacked!


  • Gingrich has been out gathering signatures for some time now… though his campaign may have kicked it into a higher gear as of a few weeks ago.

    Only Romney and Gingrich were collecting signatures at the RPV Advance, for instance.

  • I J Maust

    Did anyone check the qualifications of the candidates? Are they all natural born citizens? Both political parties?

  • Dave

    Got an email last Sunday from a Gingrich supporter saying they were only now putting it into full gear.

  • Tsquared

    So why would the Ronulan’s be in a tizzy? Thought the RPV already verified that Doctor Tin-Foil Hat made it onto the ballot…

  • They prefer to be called Paulistinians…

  • Tsquared

    They going to drop the bomb sometime in the near future, or are they going to wait til tomorrow to bestow the Christmas cheer on us all?

  • RichardNC

    Wow! Romney vs Paul.

    My condolences to my neighbors to the north.

  • Nick

    Newt’s off the ballot. What a freaking disaster.

  • Dave

    Thanks Bearing Drift for being the breaking news center!

  • Conservative

    Wow, what a disaster is right. How awful.

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  • Lovettsville Lady

    Shawn, Perry’s people were also collecting signatures at the Advance. That’s the only petition DH had signed. A big guy with a cowboy hat set in the great hall grabbing signatures for Perry. He said he was a VA resident, a transplant from Texas. Not that it matters now.

    I must agree, this is a disaster. I’m not sure who looks like the bigger fools, the candidates or Republicans in Virginia.

  • Conservative

    While the campaigns deserve at least half the blame, its not good for the Republican Party in Virginia to basically tell its voters that they can only cast ballots for 2 of the 7 people who are running, by having the requirements so high.

    Having the requirements that high is really indefensible for the presidential race, given how the focus is on the early states. Just charge them a fee and be done with it.

  • Gerald

    Wow. Are the Soros-Obama-Romneybots SO afraid of Gingrich they had to bar him from this race and DISENFRANCHISE the voters? I’m sure Eric Holder will have his say about this. /sarc

  • Gerald

    I guess it helps the left to have signature gatherers who are pretending to be from Newt’s camp that do a lot of “ooop’s” when it comes to the address slot.

  • John

    RPV’s website does not appear to be working… really want to read an official confirmation that Newt is out. I really hope it’s true, I just want to read something from the RPV so I can go back to celebrating christmas.

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  • Joshua Mayes

    This is most definitely about to be interesting…

    I’ve got no doubt in my mind that there’ll be a major complaint about Constitutionality of this. Restricting 5 of the 7 candidates(including the man polling in the lead in the state)from even appearing on the ballot is a joke. Virginia’s got a lot of work to do defending their reputation if they restrict the guy who’s leading in statewide polling from even appearing on the ballot due to excessive ballot access requirements.

  • Tom H.

    Looks like I’m going to have to vote for crazy Ron Paul in order to stop the liberal Democrat from Massachusetts. Thanks a lot, VA political establishment, and Merry Christmas. 🙁

  • CW

    This is a joke right? Super Tuesday just became much less super.

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  • Nick Howard

    Have the requirements changed since 2008? I don’t remember anyone not making it then. Of course, it was also later in the year, but the candidates know the rules. Regardless, I think it is more a reflection on the pathetic field.

  • This is a damned joke!
    So let me get this straight, Newt Gingrich who has mostly led in the polls, whom connects most with the american ground roots conservative, whom is not part of the effete elite GOP republican party can’t get 10 000 sign ups?
    That is a lie!
    No way that happens!

    What did Marcellus say in Hamlet?
    “something is rotten in the State of Denmark”

    I am disgusted.
    I won’t do it….. I am seething….

    I have HAD IT with Coulter, National Review, Mitts super pac, the fricken’ Bushes, Krauthammers, Hewitts, and all the GOP blue bloods.

    I will NOT vote for Mitt.

    I will vote for Santorum or Bachmann.

    Mitt and his super pack and all their little buddies….. scum!

    And no matter how hard I have worked through Tea Parties, and with Conservative candidates (walking precincts, working telephones….. you name it….done it).
    Nothing changes! Remember the mid-terms? Fiscally responsible patriots from sea to shining sea worked their asses off to elect good strong conservatives; and it worked!
    Will if you don’t, thats okay, because Boehner has managed to screw that up with 3 epic back to back losses.

    Again what a joke! Paul vs Romney- its just so pathetic!

    Happy Holidays

  • By the way, if Santorum backed out and pledged his commitment to Bachmann, or Bachmann backed out, pledging her commitment to Santorum, how interesting would that be. To who stayed in the race, I would imagine a HUGE bump in polls, re-kindled interest among us, and a truly viable candidate that all of us could get behind.

  • VA could choose to have high standards or be like California where they had 135 people running for Governor at once.

  • Henry Ryto


    That’s right: Bachmann or Santorum would leap from 1% to 2%, a doubling of support.

  • Joe Budzinski

    I got a robocall on Tuesday Dec 20 around 5:15 pm from the Gingrich campaign, instructing me where I could go to sign the ballot petitions, with three choices: two of which were on Monday Dec 19, and one which was Dec 20 from 5 – 8 pm at a location that was not convenient for me at all.

    If they were not organized well enough to get their Monday ballot signing information out by Monday, this seems to have been a pretty seat-of-the-pants type operation. It’s too bad because given the choices we now have, I definitely would have voted for Newt.

  • Ron and Mitt. Wondering why? To get on the the ballot in Virginia you need either a strong volunteer base or a lot of money to higher signature solicitors. Those that didn’t make the ballot had neither.

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  • Tucker Watkins

    Now Virginia has very title choice in the primary. I will repeat what I said before. There should have been a table at or near registration for all candidates to get signatures supplied by RPV. After reading other blogs, I am not sure RPV’s policy of not checking you if you have over certain numbers would stand up in court. I think that may well be tested in court now. Congratulations to the Bolling team for hiring four people some time ago to get Romney on the ballot. Also to the Paulites who I doubt used paid people. Did the Gingrich people pay for signatures that were no good ? It would be nice to get some comment from their team. Did Perry have a paid team also ? What are Republicans going to do to avoid such an embarrassment in the future ? While it is formally the job of the candidates to get this done, has RPV crippled Virginians choices who don’t have a clue this has even happened ?

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  • Darrell

    Radkte must be jumping in circles. Not only did public interest in the state’s primaries just hit bottom, but the alter ego of establishment party politics is now on the ballot. A Paul/Radkte/OWS alliance could turn Virginia politics on it’s shiny, old white, bald head. Allen better start being really nice to demographically diverse young people, fast.

  • Josh

    I was one of the volunteers getting signatures for Romney. We had nearly 500 volunteers working every parade, GOP event, metro/VRE station, mall, craft fair, etc. in VA. We made sure volunteers qualified the signers as registered VA voters and watched them properly sign & print their name, put their address down, give the date and the last four of their SS number.

    There is no VA conspiracy. It was simple hard work by dedicated volunteers and a superior organization. What does this say about the rest that failed to qualify? Maybe the big leagues aren’t for them just yet. Romney had their efforts underway at the end of the summer til December. That is why they submitted the most – 16,000. I also saw Ron Paul supporters out too getting signatures. Why didn’t the other campaigns think they might need to do the same? Maybe they didn’t think they’d be around in March 2012.

  • Nathan

    The champion of the Constitution, Ron Paul, takes it.

  • Jim Hewitt

    I was one of the many volunteers who helped Governor Romney obtain the required petition signatures. We worked for several months here in Portsmouth and throughout Hampton Roads. I recall numerous events where multiple volunteers lent a hand. We went to GOP meetings, Churches, parades and stood in front of many stores. In other words, we organized well in advance! We understood the requirements from the SBE and exceeded the required signatures by over 6,000. In other words we were organized and did our job for Governor Romney. Without organization you will rarely succeed. My hats off to the Paul Campaign as well. They did their job and now Virginia has a choice between the two campaigns. Instead of complaining and threatening lawsuits how about following the rules and ensuring success? One is far more productive than the other…

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  • Adam

    He has no grassroots.. because honestly who would really support this guy? Only people who have no idea what he is about, generally clueless about politics, or love big government and globalist agendas.

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  • As I understand it, the problem is that a campaign was required to get at least 400 valid signatures FROM EACH COUNTY, not just the 10,000 total overall.

    Gingrich submitted over 11,000 signatures.

    However, as I heard it explained, the RPV said they would not bother checking the ballot petitions for any candidate who submitted over 15,000 signatures over the 10,000 total required.

    If that is true, then nobody has checked if Mitt Romney’s ballot petitions are valid. They were just accepted automatically as valid. Romney submitted 16,000.

    If we focus on the smaller Counties, I would bet you that Romney also did not qualify for the ballot under these rules.

    I would bet that if we examine the smaller counties, NONE of the candidates submitted 400 *VALID* petition signatures for some of the COunties.

    Remember that to be valid, not only must the signer be a registered voter AND the signature and information be legible, but the petition gatherer must be a registered voter in that County, and must have WATCHED the signer sign the petition.

    If Romney’s petitions are challenged by poring through the individual signatures from the smaller Counties, it will probably be found — forced by a Court if necessary — that NO ONE qualified for the primary ballot.

    That would require a different method be selected for choosing the nominee.

    As an attorney, I bet I could get both Romney and Paul off the ballot, leaving no one on the ballot, and forcing a different nomination process for Virginia. But I have spent too much time doing too many things for free to do that for free as well.

  • frank

    Gingrich is not qualified to be President, he cant even run a proper campaign, unless you count lying about your past campaigning…….he is scum and should be ousted completely from the race.

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