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Primary Tomorrow: Yawn

By Greg L | 5 March 2012 | RPV, Virginia Politics | 19 Comments

Every indication so far is that Mitt Romney is going to walk away with tomorrow’s primary in Virginia, and that has prompted quite a few questions about what conservatives who might not be enamored with Romney might do.  Should they undervote, vote for Paul, or just not bother?

Since an “undervote” (not casting a vote for any candidate on the ballot) isn’t going to be counted and Ron Paul doesn’t stand a chance of making even a respectable showing, my advice to them is just not to bother.  About the only thing that will send any kind of useful message is a very low turnout, clear evidence of our widespread dissatisfaction with the choices we have this time.  Maybe that will prompt RPV to establish more reasonable ballot access rules in the future, and that’s about the only positive outcome to be had tomorrow.

Send a message to RPV: if you don’t provide us with candidates that interest us, we’re not likely to come to your party.  Find something more interesting to do tomorrow.

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  1. Brian L. said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:22 pm:
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    I dunno, Greg - If all of the Republicans sit out this primary, the Democrats will definitely win it for Ron Paul. You sure you want to encourage people not to go pull the lever for Nixon 2.0?

  2. Greg L said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:24 pm:
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    If Paul wins, does that change a thing? Nope.

  3. Brian L. said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:26 pm:
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    What outcome does Virginia’s primary election have on the Federal election in November? If Ron Paul wins, doesn’t his name get listed on the ballot as the Republican candidate at that point in time?

  4. Dan said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:28 pm:
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    Then of course, there is the option of voting for Ron Paul because you like his constitutional message of limited government, ending the policing of the globe AND because you don’t want Mitt Romney. That’s what I’ll be doing.

  5. Greg L said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:29 pm:
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    No, Brian. It just means that Virginia would send a delegation to vote for Paul at the national convention, who won’t make it past the first round if there’s more than one round. Even that is unlikely.

    If Paul wins, Virginia’s delegation to the national convention will be meaningless. If he loses, it’ll be for Romney.

  6. Brian L. said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:30 pm:
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    Gotcha - Two cheers for Nixon 2.0. I was planning on going in and pulling the lever for Mittens out of annoyance at Ronpaul, but given that it ultimately doesn’t matter, maybe sitting at home is a better option.

    Blargh. Why did Perry have to self-destruct?

  7. Dan said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:43 pm:
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    If you want Romney as president, don’t vote for Ron Paul in Virginia.

  8. Steve Thomas said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:47 pm:
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    Um, I don’t think RPV makes the rules for ballot access. I do believe that is the GA. Falls under all that “Election Law” stuff. Same section as all that “open primary” “No Party ID” registration business.

    I also wonder why this cycle so many campaigns couldn’t get their “stuff” together to get on the ballot, whereas previous cycles had plenty of names on the ballot. Could it be a lack of organization on the part of the Bachman, Cain, Perry, Huntsman, and Santorum campaigns?

    Not saying RPV is a perfect organization. Doesn’t even warrant “Machine” status. Far from it. But blaming RPV for the “quality” of candidates running nationally, let alone those who actually made it on to the ballot is a bit unjustified, IMHO.

  9. Dan said on 5 Mar 2012 at 3:52 pm:
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    Gotta agree with Mista Steve on this one. I don’t think I’ve read anywhere that either the Romney or Paul campaigns complained about RPV’s process being overly onerous. They just had their act together, unlike the other candidates who just didn’t get out of the gate fast enough and didn’t have the ground game in place that Romney and Paul did. That’s not RPV’s fault.

  10. Doug Brown said on 5 Mar 2012 at 7:01 pm:
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    Vote Paul, go for the Hail Mary of a brokered convention and then hope for what a lawyer friend of mine is hoping against hope - Paul Ryan


  11. Prester John said on 5 Mar 2012 at 7:47 pm:
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    The reason others aren’t on the ballot is because first, the national and state campaigns were flat on there asses, and second, the supposed grassroots supporters for most of the other candidates didn’t bother finding out what was required and assumed someone else would take care of getting their man/woman on the ballot.

    Other than Romney and Cain no one (that I know of) had people at the PWC GOP meetings getting signatures. NO ONE.

    I was at one of the largest voting precincts in PWC on election day back in November collecting for Cain (got 100 without even trying) and had voter after voter ask me where the other campaigns were–if a campaign had had 100 people doing that statewide they would’ve hit the requirement in a single day.

    I was at the GOP fundraisers in PWC and Loudoun County and no one else was there other than Gingrich people and they were already way too late in the process.

    Bottom line:

    Perry was MIA
    Bachman was MIA
    Santorum was MIA
    Huntsman was MIA
    Gingrich was way too late
    Paul was invisible but his people knew exactly what they had to do
    Romney was visible and his people knew what they had to do

    The lesson for anyone who wants to make sure their candidate is on the ballot next time around–go to the Virginia Board of Elections website to find out:

    1) How many signatures are required (and plan on getting at least 1/3 more than you need) and have them several weeks before the deadline
    2) When you can start collecting them and start collecting IMMEDIATELY–this year the campaigns could’ve start on 1 July (getting 10,000 signatures over 5 months is a lot easier than trying to do it in 5 weeks)
    3) When the signatures need to be turned in

    Finally, don’t expect other people to do what you won’t do.

  12. Bruce Baxter said on 6 Mar 2012 at 12:09 am:
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    Hard to believe that the editor and publisher of this blog would encourage Republicans not to show up. Romney has by far the best organization and is ideally suited to deal with our debt and economy. Sitting this out plays into the Democrats hands.

    If we are serious about beating President Obama, this type of sour grapes attitude has got to stop.

  13. Doug Brown said on 6 Mar 2012 at 10:43 am:
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    Bruce Baxter from ?

    “Romney has by far the best organization and is ideally suited to deal with our debt and economy.”

    On best organization you’re right (I’ve never seen so many VA Repubs line up so nicely like little duckies), as to ideally suited to deal with our debt and economy I think that is open to debate.

    A debate that didn’t happen with the circus of non-vetted contenders that danced across the stage during this very strange Republican primary season.

  14. Doug Brown said on 6 Mar 2012 at 10:50 am:
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    @Dan & Steve Thomas

    Did Ron Paul actually make the number that was required to NOT trigger a challenge?

    It’s not rhetorical, I’ve forgotten, I vaguely remember thinking he was below the number -15k?

  15. Reasonable and Rational said on 6 Mar 2012 at 1:30 pm:
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    The GOP people have made Virginia the laughingstock of America with their attempts to turn back the clock 50 years and more in the area of civil rights

  16. Not Dick Cheney said on 6 Mar 2012 at 2:00 pm:
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    “Maybe that will prompt RPV to establish more reasonable ballot access rules in the future”


    There is nothing terribly unreasonable about these ballot access rules. In past years some less than stellar campaigns (and even some that were only marginally competent) have managed to qualify their candidates for the ballot under these rules. And it’s not like anyone should have been caught by surprise by these rules. They are rules of longstanding. They weren’t recently instituted.

    The problem is incompetent campaigns. The fact that one of those incompetent campaigns happens to be the campaign of the candidate you support may tick you off, but it doesn’t make the source of the problem the rules that every candidate knew about (or should have if they didn’t have their heads up their asses) well in advance.

    Gingrich is a Virginia resident so his failure to get on the ballot is especially embarrassing. If you are going to know the rules anywhere you’d think you’d know them in your own home state. And Santorum seems to be just as much of a stumblebum as Gingrich. Ohio looms large today and Santorum may draw the most votes there. But he has failed to file complete slates of delegates in all districts so he may not get all the delegates he might have based on the votes he receives. That’s every bit as incompetent as failing to get on the ballot in the first place.

    The ability to run a competent campaign may not mean you would necessarily make a competent president. The inability to run a competent campaign is probably a pretty good indicator that you would be a lousy president.

    Maybe Virginians aren’t missing much today.

  17. Wineplz said on 7 Mar 2012 at 9:26 am:
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    I ended up voting for Ron Paul, knowing I was probably throwing my vote away. My husband did the same, since neither of our candidates were on the ballot.
    Besides the lack of competancy in the Gingrich and Santorum campaigns, does anyone know why VA won’t allow write-ins in a primary?…I didn’t really find anything useful when searching the web. Considering members of Congress (Murkowski in AK immediately comes to mind) have won their seats with a write-in campaign, I’m pretty aggravated that I wasn’t at least able to voice my opinion on who I thought should actually get my vote out of the four GOP candidates running.

  18. Wineplz said on 7 Mar 2012 at 9:35 am:
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    Wow…just checked the results at the VA SBE site and only about 5.6% of active voters turned out (or roughly 5.1% of total voters). Wonder what the voter turnout was for states that had all four candidates on their ballots.

  19. DJRippert said on 11 Mar 2012 at 8:38 am:
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    Virginia has, by far, the most onerous balloting requirements of any state in the United States. For example, Virginia requires 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot. The next most onerous state (Indiana) requires 4,500. This is state law, not party policy.

    As with virtually everything else, the goal of this law is the aggrandizement of power within the General Assembly rather than conferring any benefit to the citizens of Virginia.

    In a primary season when funding is a constant question and both momentum and funding shift with every primary candidates must decide where to spend their time and money. By making Virginia the most difficult state to get on the ballot our General Assembly assures that candidates will come, hat in hand, to Virginia’s political elite for help in getting on the ballot. Getting help from Virginia’s political establishment makes getting on the ballot a reasonable expenditure of effort vs other uses for the candidates’ time and money. Failing to get this help makes Virginia “a bridge too far”. In the case of Mitt Romney, this help was provided by the RPV in general and Bill Bolling in particular.

    Your choices on this primary ballot were dictated by a General Assembly which no longer reflects the system of “checks and balances” envisioned by those who wrote America’s Constitution (ironically, many ow whom were Virginians). From a governor who cannot hold two consecutive terms to an appointed judiciary to voice votes to off-year elections to onerous ballot processes the General Assembly has monopolized power in the state.

    Unlike Republicans in virtually every other state, you do not get a full slate of candidates on the primary ballot. That’s because your betters in Richmond have decided for you. Mitt Romney is their candidate … now do what you are told and vote for him!

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