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Martin O’Malley Struggles to Qualify for Key Primary Ballots

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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.

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Jeff Marston
Jeff Marston

Apparently, De La Fuente doesn't need the exposure of debates or publicity at this point to figure out what you have to do to qualify for the ballot.  I find it stunning that O'Malley would have so unorganized an operation in Ohio that they would not realize how dangerously close they were to the magic number as to risk not qualifying for the ballot.  


wow. all of a sudden it looks like third party and independent candidates have a better shot at the presidency than O'malley, but i doubt the mainstream press will pay that much mind.

Albert P
Albert P

I find it interesting that someone with as little national name recognition as De La Fuente has qualified for more primary ballots than a candidate who has been in all the Democratic debates.