Santorum ineligible for some Ohio delegates
March 3rd, 2012
10:52 AM ET
3 years ago

Santorum ineligible for some Ohio delegates

(CNN) – In the race to accumulate delegates to the GOP convention, Rick Santorum faces what could be a setback in Ohio.

Santorum, the former senator from neighboring Pennsylvania, has topped his rivals in several recent polls in this crucial primary state, but did not submit a full slate of delegates in nine of the state's 16 congressional districts. This campaign misstep leaves him unable to claim almost one third of the 63 delegates up for grabs in Ohio when the state joins nine others in holding contests on Super Tuesday.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

He is eligible to win some or all of the 15 state-wide at-large delegates and up to a full slate of delegates in seven congressional districts where his campaign did submit a proper list.

Besides being an important primary state, Ohio is a key battleground in the general election, and the November winner has taken Ohio in each presidential election since 1972.

Santorum has gained significant ground since mid-January, when polls indicated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead. By a month later, thanks to a surge following his sweep of three contests on February 7, Santorum was leading Romney by seven points in one survey and 11 points in a second poll. But a new survey by Quinnipiac University released Friday, following Romney's big victory in Arizona and his edging out of Santorum in Michigan, indicated Santorum just four points over Romney, which was within the poll's sampling error.

His campaign submitted no delegates in three districts, and partial delegate slates in six other districts, a state Republican official told CNN. Three delegates are tied to each individual congressional district, for a total of 48, and 15 are tied to the statewide vote.

Should Santorum be poised to claim delegate seats for which he did not submit, those seats would be unallocated, and Santorum – or another candidate – could contest those seats.

He is eligible to win some or all of the statewide at-large delegates. If one candidate receives a majority of the popular vote, he claims all 15 of these delegates; if no candidate wins a majority, these delegates are distributed proportionally among the candidates who receive over 20% of the vote.

His campaign said the mistake was made when their effort was focused on winning contests in other states - and those victories made Santorum competitive in Ohio.

"The attempt by the establishment to deceive the voters of Ohio and further their hand picked candidate will be met with resistance on Tuesday," Santorum campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley said. "I want to be clear, Rick Santorum's name will appear on every ballot in the state of Ohio and every vote cast will go towards his At-Large Delegate Allocation.

"As it relates to individual congressional districts, its clear we aren't the establishment hand picked candidate and back in December we were a small effort focused on Iowa. Now that we've won several states, obviously much has changed and we feel confident that we will do well in both the delegate and popular vote count on Tuesday," Gidley continued.

On Tuesday, a state GOP official said, "there could be as few as zero unallocated delegates, or as many as nine. This is because Santorum failed to file a full slate of district delegates in each congressional district."

Santorum's election night party will take place in the state's 6th district, where he is eligible for no district delegates.

Romney's campaign said the misstep shows Santorum's organization can not handle the rigors of a national campaign.

"Rick Santorum has failed to get on the ballot in Virginia, has failed to file full delegate slates in Tennessee, New Hampshire and Illinois, and has failed to submit enough delegates in several Ohio congressional districts," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said. "The fact that he cannot execute the simple tasks that are required to win the Republican nomination proves that Rick Santorum is incapable of taking on President Obama's formidable political machine."

Ohio representative and Romney supporter Mike Turner told reporters on a campaign conference call that Santorum "approached getting on the ballot in Ohio haphazardly."

"I think what this shows is just a half hearted attempt to represent Ohio," Turner said, adding, "running for president is sort of a competency exam for being president and voters don't want to pick someone to run for president or to be their president who is not even bapabpe of getting on the ballot everywhere. "

In Michigan, which voted on Tuesday, Santorum and Romney initially appeared to win 15 delegates each, but the state party announced on Thursday that two of the delegates would be awarded at-large to Romney, who won the popular vote. Earlier in February, Santorum won the Missouri primary, but netted no delegates, as the contest was non-binding. He did win delegates from his victories in the Colorado and Minnesota caucuses.

This story was first reported by Ohio newspapers.

Romney currently leads Santorum in the delegate race, 182 to 79 in the CNN estimate. Ohio's 63 at-stake delegates are among the 419 up for grabs on Super Tuesday.

- CNN's Steve Brusk, Peter Hamby, Rachel Streitfeld, Paul Steinhauser, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.

Also see:

Oklahoma poll: Santorum up by double digits

Paul calls Limbaugh comments 'crude'

Cleveland Plain Dealer (redacted) Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Ohio • Rick Santorum
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Steven Colo

    Must be awful running for president and not being smart enough to do it right.

    March 3, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I have been punked by a right wingnut posting anti women comments under my name. I asked my neighbor, who is a profiler, to give me idea about that person. He said he was about 5 feet tall, suffered from severe acne, and spent most of his high school years being locked in a book locker. He said that the wingnut was afraid of women, probably from being rejected frequently. There were a number of other things, but I could not repeat them.

    March 3, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Video Guy

    If he cannot do this kind of thing right, how is he expected to run the country?

    March 3, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    After the Kochs and Roe buy the nomination for Mittens, and he loses, Rick will be better prepared in 2016. After all, Mittens has been running for 5 years.

    March 3, 2012 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  5. Namejkane fl

    I think all republican moron canadates should go to the moon colony and start a new country with no taxes and no obamacare and I'll pay your way with the 10000 I won from romney!!

    March 3, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Sorensen

    Sanatorium is ineligible for anybody with a brain!

    March 3, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Whatever

    Hmmm is he sure they want him as their choice?!?! Goodness a serious candidate would meet all requirements in every state!!! Even if he "wins" the state he won't win the delegate race and delegates is what they all are aspiring too get.

    March 3, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. clarke

    Wonder how christian he will be about this?

    March 3, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. REG in AZ

    Along with the likes of Limbaugh, Santorum is wrong. The right or wrong of contraception / abortion is not really the issue here; that really is something individuals need to seriously contemplate for themselves.  What is the issue, that definitely represents something very wrong, that should never be tolerated, is allowing the sliding of religion into government.  Religion should not dictate to government, to then have government dictate religion to the people – that is what you see in Iran and it is totally wrong and oppressive.  You also see it in Saudi Arabia, other mideast countries and historically in England and throughout europe, which is what America correctly escaped.  And it should be understood that one religion, be it Christianity or any other, won’t ever make it right.  Not being religious or being religious, including the option of which religion, should always be strictly protected as an American’s individual choice.  There are those now trying to have religious dictates be adopted and mandated by government and they really have to be firmly rejected by the people to assure America doesn’t have its basic freedoms deceptively undermined.  As can be clearly seen, the consequences are drastic.

    March 3, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. Namejkane fl

    Saint ricky should go to the republican moon colony where they have no obamacare or health insurance for woman or taxes on the wealthy. Saint ricky could be president, pope bishop and gov all at the same time and take truth with you. Amen!!!!

    March 3, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Phil muse

    Ineligible for a third of Ohio delegates because he didn't submit a full slate? If Santorum's bonehead campaign is any indication of what we'd have to expect from a Santorum presidency, Heaven help us!

    March 3, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. David in FL

    Santorum Epic Fail #3. MITT 2012!

    March 3, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. GI Joe.

    So -- does that mean his lack of organiziational thinking/skills will at times make him "ignore" a major portion of U.S. Citizens? I think so. The non-catholics wll especially be left out

    If I had to choose between Romney and Santorum, I would probably choose suicide.

    March 3, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Namejkane fl

    They should take all Washington state republicans to the teapublican moon colony along with rush limbag and the house Gop morons before the Dem landslide in Nov. Just think, no rainy weather, no taxes or obamacare and you can drill for all the oil and gas you want with none of those pesky regulations.

    March 3, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. logicnLA

    Newt over spending, ricky failing to get qualify in Virginia and now for delegates in Ohio- These men want to run our country.Really?

    March 3, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. vic , nashville ,tn

    All four GOP candidates are ineligible for president of USA

    March 3, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. fla progressive

    Rick Santorum is finding out what Democrats could have told him long ago. When the GOP establishment feels treathened they are not above a little electoral fraud and tampering. Get use to it Ricky boy, your Republican friends are willing to eat their young.

    March 3, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. wwf

    But they have God on their side. Or so they think.

    March 3, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  19. newmoon2

    The new Big Bang theory; Santorum jumping up and down on landmines to see if they'll go off. Another self-inflicted wound in an already fatally damaged campaign. Way to go, Rick!

    March 3, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Skitownrefugee

    If you don't know how to turn the headlights on in the car – you flunked the driver's test.

    March 3, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Peace

    Anyone who will be voting for Romney and thinking he will fix economy, might think again or do it on own risk. The man is selling (I have been working in private sector, and know how to create jobs and fix economy). What he did was a small portion comparing what has to be done to the entire nation. Anyone who is thinking deeply will understand that he is trying to get into the White House and nothing will be changed. Just only to help those who has been helping financing his Super PACs. No more!

    March 3, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Charlie from the North

    This guy could not be worse if he was replaced by an actor from Saturday Night Live who job it was to say stupid things to make him look bad.

    March 3, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. 2chihuahuas

    Maybe Santorums own people were suprised he is doing so well and that is why they were not prepared. Either way it does say something about his abilities.

    March 3, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. June

    And he's a lawyer? Duh...

    March 3, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. GI Joe.

    Ayatollah Santorum is also NOT EVEN on the ballot in Virginia. Maybe he should just give it up and go home and take GOOD care of his sick child (who is probably on MEDICAID since she has a pre-existing condition).

    He and his wife also might want to practice abstinence because it's against MY religion/morals/principles to pay for his child's healthcare in any form.

    March 3, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
1 2