U.-VA professor Larry Sabato’s crew declares that by failing to get on the Virginia ballot for next week’s Super Tuesday presidential sweepstakes, Great Falls, Va., resident Rick Santorum may be a big loser when the day is done:

John Bull — the British equivalent of Uncle Sam — was prominently featured on British armed forces recruiting posters during World War I, pointing a finger and asking, “Who’s absent? — Is it you?”

In the case of the Virginia primary, he who is absent is Rick Santorum. And it’s going to cost him, big time, on Super Tuesday.

Because only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are on the Virginia ballot, Romney — who we expect to sweep the Old Dominion — starts off with a big lead on Super Tuesday courtesy of Virginia. That built-in advantage will make it exceedingly difficult for Santorum to finish the day with more delegates than Romney. In fact, we expect Romney to win more delegates on Super Tuesday than Rick Santorum, probably many more.

We shall see if that prediction holds true.

But does the rest of Sabato’s point hold water? If it were Newt Gingrich, rather than former senator Santorum, who was riding the current wave, then the headline would be slightly different, but the narrative would be the same. Not being on the ballot where you live hurts (remember, Newt lives in McLean).

Or does it?

[Continue reading Norman Leahy’s post at Bearing Drift.]

Norman Leahy blogs at Bearing Drift. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.