NBC12 Viewpoint: The Virginia Primary

By Kym Grinnage email

Now that we have just completed the Iowa Caucuses, it's apparent that the voters will have a lot to say about who will be our next president. While most of the pundits couldn't agree on who would win, once again, the voters had the last word. If you didn't have a chance to see the results, Mitt Romney received 25% of the vote and won by 8 votes, not 8 percentage points, but 8 votes over Rick Santorum.

Virginia's Republican Primary will occur on March 6 as part of Super Tuesday and currently Virginia voters will only be able to cast a vote for either Mitt Romney or Ron Paul. It is possible that this may be a moot point come March, but what happens if another candidate has seized the national attention and he is not on the ballot.

Under current Virginia Law, the candidate must receive 10,000 signatures from registered voters, including 400 from each of the state's 11 congressional districts. Neither Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, or Jon Huntsman are currently on the ballot. This brings up a few questions about the current requirements and it may certainly limit Virginia voters' right to choose. Many will argue that it speaks volumes about  the organizational skills of the candidate, but Gingrich's campaign director has gone as far as to call it a failed system.

It may not be a failed system, but depending on what happens leading up to March 6th I don't believe that you have heard the last word from these candidates. When all is said and done, it appears that long range planning and focus is a hallmark we look for in any candidate, but particularly for a candidate seeking the highest office. But it would be a shame if the Virginia voters are caught in the middle of this fight.