The PJ Tatler

Is Rick Santorum's Path to Victory About to Close?

Despite his second and maybe first place finish in Iowa, and the spectacular overnight fundraising success and bump in the polls that followed, former Sen. Rick Santorum may be campaigning on borrowed time. He is facing deadlines in several states to file to get his name on their ballots, and the filing requirements may be outside what he can muster. I write often about the three M’s of campaigns — message, money and manpower. The third one is his biggest problem right now.

The deadline to file in the March 20 Illinois primary, for instance, is today, January 6. Entrants must collect and file 3000 signatures, and so far he is not on the ballot there, but Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul all are. Santorum’s Illinois co-chairman says they will make the deadline, but as of this point they have about an hour to go and haven’t handed in their signatures. Maryland’s filing deadline is January 11. Alabama’s is January 13. He already missed Washington DC’s deadline, which was on January 4. He has until February 1 to file for Texas’ April 3 primary. Gov. Perry, meanwhile, announced in a press release today that he has met the filing requirements for Arizona, Ohio, Vermont and DC, in addition to Illinois, and the Gingrich campaign just announced that they have also met Illinois’ deadline.

These bunched-up filing deadlines for all intents and purposes foreclose the possibility of any new candidates entering the race at this stage, and strongly disfavor a candidate like Santorum, whose ground game up to now has consisted mostly of him making personal appearances on his own behalf.