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Some say “Draft Gov. McDonnell for President” fits the bill

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RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - A new website serves to gather petitions to get Governor Bob McDonnell in the race for President in 2012. The site is getting attention but conservative blogger Norm Leahy says the possibility is a long shot.

"In modern campaigns it's almost unheard of you just can't do it anymore," said Leahy.

Leahy says it's almost impossible given the organization and demands.

"You need money and if you don't have the money, you can't beat the calendar it's a vicious cycle," said Leahy.

The website cites research done by political analyst Rhodes Cook, a contributing writer for the University of Virginia's School of Politics. His outlooks is different than Leahy's, saying a late start candidate is possible this primary season because of a new election calendar.

"It does allow for several different scenarios one of which could be a late starting candidate," said Cook.

Cook says the bulk of primary elections are in March, April, May and June.  He says if a candidate got in the race in early February with momentum, he or she could be a factor.

"Somebody getting in at that point would still be able to compete for 1200 of the 2300 delegates," said Cook.

But when it comes to the Commonwealth the outlook from both men is the same. It will be hotly contested.

"Whether we like it or not or whether we're used to it or not, Virginia is going to be in the spotlight," said Leahy.