US Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to qualify for the party's Virginia primary election, local media reported early Saturday.

NBC News reported that the Virginian branch of the Republican Party made the decision because the former speaker of the House of Representatives and the Texas governor fell short of the 10,000 signatures of registered voters required for a candidate's name to be placed on the primary ballot.

The Republican primary is scheduled in Virginia for March 6.

According to The Washington Post, the Perry campaign told state election officials it had submitted 11,911 signatures, while the Gingrich campaign said it had provided 11,050 signatures.

However, state party officials said it was not the case.

The rejection is a significant setback for the Gingrich campaign since he is leading the polls in Virginia and is seen as a strong contender for the nomination, The Post said.