While everyone was toasting in the new year, few likely saw the major election news that broke on December 31. The Baltimore Sun reports that Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley failed to qualify for the Democratic presidential primary in Ohio, another major blow to a struggling campaign.
According to the Baltimore Sun, O’Malley submitted 1,175 signatures to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, but the state’s top election official determined that 772 of these signatures were valid. O’Malley went from 175 signatures over the required amount to 228 below the threshold.
Since the deadline to submit signatures was December 16, Ohio officials will not allow O’Malley to submit more signatures.
O’Malley has had a difficult time getting exposure and developing a message that has broad appeal to voters. The Wall Street Journal reported that O’Malley held a campaign event in Iowa that drew in a single attendee. He is currently qualified for the Democratic primary ballot in only 18 states.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were both certified for the March primary ballot, but that does not mean voters in the Democratic primary will only have two options. Husted also certified Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, a San Diego businessman. In fact, to date, De La Fuente — who has little name recognition nationwide — has qualified for more Democratic ballots than O’Malley.