The fumble was similar to one made by Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry in Virginia late last month. The commonwealth requires campaigns to clear a series of difficult logistical hurdles — including gathering at least 400 signatures from each congressional district. For Gingrich, who was leading in polls in Virginia and whose campaign headquarters is situated there, the mistakes proved particularly embarassing. The Perry campaign has launched a legal challenge to Virginia's ballot laws, arguing they are excessively burdensome.

Arizona's primary is scheduled for Feb. 28 and will award 29 delegates, among the highest total in early-voting states. By contrast, Tuesday's New Hampshire primary awards 12 delegates to the GOP convention.

In total, 23 Republicans — including Huntsman's main GOP rivals — made the Arizona ballot, along with six candidates running in the Green Party primary.