More Delegate Problems for Rick Santorum in Illinois, D.C.

Lack of national organization coming back to haunt Republican again.

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Rick Santorum's lack of national organization and money before winning the Iowa caucuses in early January has been a constant, almost embarrassing problem, and it's popping up again with less than a week to go before voters in Illinois cast primary ballots.

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In Illinois, Santorum will be ineligible to compete for 10 of the state's 54 delegates when voters head to the polls on March 20. Voters in Illinois do not simply pick who they want to nominate. Instead, they directly elect delegates, and each primary ballot will contain a list of potential delegates alongside the presidential candidate they support. Presidential candidates were required to collect 600 signatures in each of Illinois's 18 congressional districts by January 7 in order to register a full slate of delegates. In four congressional districts, Santorum failed to file any signatures.

Likewise, he will not appear on the ballot for Washington, D.C.'s winner-take-all primary on April 3, which is worth 16 delegates. In order to make the ballot in D.C., candidates had two options. By January 4, they could either collect 296 signatures and pay $5,000 to the D.C. Republican Party, or they could skip the signature-collecting entirely and pay $10,000. According to reports, the Santorum campaign never even contacted the D.C. Board of Elections, much less pay the fee or request a petition to collect signatures.

Santorum's organizational issues have already cost him a spot on the primary ballot in Virginia (where he happens to live) and disqualified him from competing for over a quarter of Ohio's delegates on Super Tuesday. In Indiana, he had signature-collecting issues that nearly excluded him from its primary on May 8 before the Election Commission held a special vote to accept his petition.

Even though he has considerable, not-Mitt momentum at this point in the campaign, Santorum is not in a position to be throwing delegates away. Although the nominating race is far from over, mathematical elimination awaits if he continues to go delegate-for-delegate, trading blows with Mitt Romney like he did during Tuesday's contests. Both candidates are a long way from the 1,144 delegates needed to secure the nomination, but Santorum will need to win two out of every three remaining delegates that remain to get there.

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