Almost hard to believe, but only Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have qualified for the Virginia Republican primary on Super Tuesday in March.
Virginia has onerous requirements of 10,000 signatures with at least 400 from each of 11 congressional districts.
Rick Perry, who was believed to have enough signatures, failed upon review. Santorum, Bachmann and Hunstman did not have enough signatures by the deadline.
It was up to the wire for Gingrich, and for a time it looked like only Romney and Paul would be on the ballot. Apparently there is no write-in line.
Gingrich leads Romney by 5 points in Virginia in the latest polling, so this was a big win for Gingrich to make the ballot.
Update 10:20 p.m. — The local newspaper website which reported an announcement by the Republican Party that Gingrich had qualified has just issued a correction. Gingrich’s petitions still are being reviewed.
Update 12-24 — At about 2 a.m. it was announced that Newt fell short of the needed signatures, so as of now only Romney and Paul will be on the primary ballot. That’s a major fail for Perry and Newt, but hurts Newt particularly badly. Each candidate had over 1000 signatures rejected. It shows that organization matters. It also creates the oddity that Paul may win Virginia because Perry and Newt supporters will vote for him to deprive Romney of the win and delegates.