Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to qualify for Virginia's Republican presidential primaries.
Both Gingrich and Rick Perry failed to submit the required number of valid signatures for their names to appear in the Virginia Ballot, the Republican party of Virginia announced. The candidates are required to get 10,000 signatures from registered Republican voters in Virginia. This list should include 400 signatures from each of its eleven congressional districts.
The failure is naturally seen as a major setback for former U.S Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose poll ratings are steadily falling. Virginia goes to poll on March 6, a date dubbed Super Tuesday.
Although Gingrich submitted 11,050 signatures to the state Board of Elections, by the deadline of Thursday, 5 p.m. local time - according to a Richmond Time Dispatch report - the final count was that he fell short of the required mark.
The news is particularly troubling since Gingrich was actually leading the polls (Quinnipiac) in Virginia; however, he is struggling to retain his national advantage. He is neck-and-neck with former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, both nationally and across other states, while he trails fellow candidate Ron Paul in Iowa, according to a University/Gazette/KCRG Poll.
Gingrich's presidential ambitions could become trickier if he cannot lock his candidacy by winning the states that poll early. If, for example, he loses both Iowa and New Hampshire, he could be in real trouble. The loss would cast further shadows on his electability in other states and could subsequently affect his chances.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry also failed to get 10,000 signatures by the deadline and is disqualified from the Virginia republican primaries.
Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have already submitted the required number of signatures and have qualified for the primaries. Other Republican candidates - Jon M. Huntsman Jr., Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann - also did not qualify as they did not submit the necessary signatures.