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Mitt v. Newt: Ballot Qualifying

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On last night’s Great American Panel, Sean Hannity asked Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Bob Beckel and me about the almost certain Mitt v. Newt endgame on the GOP side. When I brought up the difficulties involved in qualifying on all the various primary ballots, Beckel agreed and began to detail Newt’s problems in Ohio in getting on the primary ballot there when a commercial intervened.

When we came back from break, we moved on to criticisms of Tim Tebow’s prayers, including mine that he doesn’t share whatever it is he’s praying with Browns’ QB Colt McCoy, but we never got back to the key issue of campaign logistics. I will try and get the former Speaker on to discuss this and other matters soon, but I got an illustrative e-mail yesterday from a Romney supporter in Ohio:

We are looking for help circulating petitions in Ohio to put Mitt Romney’s name on the ballot for the Republican Primary. We need registered Republican voters to obtain signatures throughout the state. This work is very important and very time sensitive. Interested volunteers can contact me at Please reference “petition help” in the subject line. Thanks.

That’s the sort of detail –and volunteer, and licence plate–that I suspect is missing from the late-starting, debate-centered Gingrich campaign, and National Review’s Robert Costa agreed it will be a crucial aspect of the next very few weeks as Newt scrambles to shape his sudden inflow of resources into an effective campaign team. On the good side, Costa noted, was that a great deal of Team Gingrich seems to be Tea Party driven which means the manpower will be there if somewhat new to the process. (See also Costa’s latest on Hollywood Newt.) So which of the young guns will put together the guide to primary deadline dramatics? Guy Benson, recovered yet from Northwestern’s drubbing?

Which leaves one other big question for today: Where will the Cain voters disappointed by the new charges if they conclude them to be true? To Newt? Or to the very-safe-from-surprises Mitt Romney? The fast and furious fashion in which the DNC is launching against Romney tells us which candidate Obama would least like to face.


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