Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney became the first person to qualify for the Virginia Republican presidential primary yesterday. He submitted almost 15,500 signatures to the state, 50% more than was needed.
Virginia has one of the hardest ballot qualification processes in the country. To get on a state-wide primary ballot, candidates need to collect 10,000 signatures from registered voters, with at least 400 coming from each Congressional district. Moreover, these signatures have to be gathered by registered Virginia voters, so you can’t fly in volunteers from other places or just hire high school kids to do it.
I am not aware of any recent Presidential polls from our state, and doubt they would be very useful anyway as few people are focusing on the Presidential race yet. But Romney’s ability to qualify for the ballot so quickly suggests that he has a strong team of volunteers in the state, and has for a while now.
In addition to showing strength, my understanding is that candidates will be listed on the ballot in the order they qualify, so Romney’s name will be at the top. A small thing, but small things can make a difference.
Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is coordinating Romney’s Virginia campaign. He should be congratulated for demonstrating his state-wide organizational skills by gathering the signatures so quickly.
Candidates from other campaigns have until Dec. 14th to submit their signatures.
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