“Voting in the states is not that difficult, but it is time consuming and can be expensive,” Trainer said. “These people’s carriage in their fantasy land is about to turn into a pumpkin.”
In other words, the field is all but set, and Republicans who want someone other than Trump now know who their choice is.
Two of the early states, Nevada and South Carolina, have filing deadlines next month, ahead of Virginia’s Nov. 7 general election. This is important because Youngkin sidestepped questions about late entry into the 2024 Sweepstakes He said he was focused on the general elections.
“I’m not in Iowa at the state fair, I was actually at the Rockingham County Fair,” Youngkin said on Fox News on Sunday, September 10. “I advocate for Virginians in Virginia, not across the country.”
Although none of these states require candidates to submit voter-signed petitions, their deadlines will pass ahead of Youngkin’s schedule. And many states require campaigns to collect signatures, a process that can create a logistical logjam for candidates who must commit resources to several of them at once.
Two other states, Alabama and Arkansas, set filing deadlines within a week of Virginia’s election, and a number of states, including delegate-rich California and Texas, are closing their windows in December.
For a candidate to appear on the ballot in many of the states where the December deadline is, he or she would have to already be collecting signatures — and there is currently no shadow campaign, according to GOP activists closely watching the race.
It would be hard enough for a candidate to apply now and qualify in all of these states, but waiting until November would make the task much more difficult because it would mean giving up key early primary states.
“If you’re just talking about the basics of how to run a presidential campaign, especially after dropping two of the first four states, especially one as big as South Carolina, how are you supposed to run a race just in March? and be successful?,” said a GOP strategist who supports one of the candidates. “It’s just never going to happen.”
In addition to hurdles to voting access, political activists say, the graveyard of past presidential campaigns is littered with latecomers who lacked the polish of rivals who spent months shaking hands in early states, dealing with the crush of media and debates to confront opponents.
Mike DuHaime, a former political director for the Republican National Committee and a veteran of several presidential campaigns, said there are many reasons beyond ballot access that make 11th-hour participation difficult.