Jim Gilmore's long shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination got even longer this week as the former Virginia governor failed to qualify for ballots in the "super Tuesday" primary states of Alabama and Arkansas.
Only Gilmore and former New York Gov. George Pataki failed to qualify for the ballot in each state.
Both states require candidates to submit petition signatures and to pay substantial fees to their respective Republican parties.
Candidates seeking ballot access for the GOP presidential primary in Alabama must submit 500 signatures and pay a $10,000 fee to the Alabama Republican Party. Arkansas requires presidential candidates to pay a $25,000 fee to the state GOP.
"We are focusing on the major early states, like New Hampshire, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida," Gilmore campaign senior adviser Boyd Marcus said in a statement to AMI Newswire when asked whether the fees for access played a role in the campaign's failure to qualify.
"Governor Gilmore has filed in New Hampshire and South Carolina already and will be filing in a number of others in the next 2 months," Marcus said. "Our campaign is concentrating on places where we believe our message and organizational activities have the ability to produce the most votes and delegates. Our campaign will compete all the way to the convention."
Gilmore, who served as Virginia's governor from 1998 to 2002, has not generated much buzz on the presidential campaign trail. His polling numbers have rarely topped the necessary one percent to qualify for a slot in the presidential debates held to date.
Federal Election Commission reports show his campaign committee, Gilmore for America, has raised just $105,000 and has just over $34,000 in cash on hand. That's less than Gilmore raised in an abortive presidential run in 2008.
"This is a clear sign, if one was necessary, that Jim Gilmore’s campaign lacks the resources and organization to compete nationally for the GOP nomination," University of Richmond professor and political analyst Dan Palazzolo told AMI Newswire.
Gilmore does take the top spot in one new survey, but it's not a coveted position. An Economist/YouGov poll released Monday found 81 percent of self-identified Republicans chose Gilmore as the GOP candidate they think should drop out of the race.
He is also unlikely to get much bounce from tonight's Republican debate in Milwaukee, Wisc. He will not be on the stage for either the main debate or the "undercard" of low-polling candidates. In comments to the Manchester, NH, ABC affiliate Monday, Gilmore called the debate process "circular" and "dishonest." He has live-tweeted previous GOP debates and boasts 2,143 followers on Twitter.
University of Richmond did not see Gilmore's struggles as a sign the GOP field is about to narrow. "Some candidates may drop out before the Iowa caucuses, but most will likely fade after Iowa and New Hampshire," he said.
Gilmore, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has yet to ensure a place on the ballot even in his own state.
Virginia's ballot access deadline is Dec. 10. All presidential campaigns seeking a place on the state's March 1 primary ballot must submit 5,000 signatures, with at least 200 coming from each of the state's 11 congressional districts.