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Two out of six GOP presidential candidates qualify for Virginia primary

Four out of the six GOP presidential candidates failed to qualify for the Virginia primary. What's going on?

New Gingrich virginia primary 2011 12 24Enlarge
New Gingrich's failure to qualify for the Virginia primary could deal a major blow to his campaign. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

GOP presidential candidates Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich failed to submit enough signatures from voters to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot on March 6, according to the Republican party of Virginia.

The RPV broke the news on Twitter, saying both GOP frontrunners did not submit the required 10,000 signatures from registered voters.

However, campaign officials from the two told state election officials they have submitted the required signatures and are considering an appeal, according to the Guardian.

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"Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot," Gingrich campaign director Michael Krull was quoted saying by Reuters. "Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates.

Republican presidential candidates Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum also did not meet the Thursday deadline for submissions.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Republican Ron Paul were the only GOP presidential candidates successful in qualifying. 

The GOP candidates who won’t have their names on Virginia ballots could face major setback – especially Gingrich who has been leading the race in a Virginia Republican poll. Virginia is also his adopted home state.

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The New York Times explains further:

“It could shake the confidence of his supporters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida – all of whom vote in advance of Virginia – that Mr. Gingrich will have the ability to stay in the race long term. Why, those early backers might ask themselves, should I throw my vote away on someone who might not be standing in a month?"

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111224/gop-presidential-candidates-virginia%20primary