Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s path to the Democratic presidential nomination is in jeopardy after failing to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for Ohio’s primary ballot.
O’Malley’s campaign turned in 1,175 signatures, but only 772 of those were deemed valid, putting him short of the 1,000-signature minimum to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
The crushing news comes just as O’Malley’s Iowa poll numbers have put him comfortably in third-place.
Nationally, O’Malley trails front-runner Hillary Clinton by 49 percentage points, and second-place Sen. Bernie Sanders by 27 percentage points, in Real Clear Politics’ average of national polls. He also trails Clinton in the ever-important superdelegate count by a few hundred.
Frankly, that deficit is going to be difficult to overcome without Ohio, where, as of October, O’Malley was polling at zero.
O’Malley spokeswoman Haley Morris called the news “disappointing,” but promised that the candidate “will campaign vigorously in Ohio.” She noted that he “is already on the ballot in 18 other states.”
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