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Trump, Biden win Super Tuesday primaries in Virginia


Trump, Biden win Super Tuesday primaries in Virginia

Mar 05, 2024 | 8:00 pm ET
By Graham Moomaw
Trump, Biden win Super Tuesday primaries in Virginia
Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters after speaking at a Get Out The Vote rally at Winthrop University on February 23, 2024 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

There were no Super Tuesday surprises in Virginia as President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump both won their respective primaries in the state and remained on track for a presidential rematch this fall.

Trump handily defeated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, his last rival still standing in what was once a sizable GOP field. Several other Republican candidates qualified to appear on Virginia’s ballot but had already dropped out before Tuesday.

Biden also faced light competition, beating Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and activist Marianne Williamson in a contest the Associated Press called just nine minutes after the polls closed.

“Virginia Democrats sent a loud and clear message: we are unequivocally behind President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Virginia Republicans did the same as it pertains to Donald Trump,” Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker said in a statement Tuesday evening, adding that the Virginia GOP had showed its fealty to a “destitute bigot.”

Trump, Biden win Super Tuesday primaries in Virginia
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Montgomery County Community College January 5, 2024 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Virginia’s well-educated suburbs and potential for crossover votes under the state’s open primary system appeared to give Haley a slim chance of competing with Trump. But the early results showed she wasn’t doing well enough in those areas to counter the GOP frontrunner.

“Time for Nikki Haley to drop out so we can focus on getting rid of Joe Biden!” Trump-supporting state Sen. John McGuire, R-Goochland, said on social media shortly after the race was called.

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Though Virginia showed its swingy side in 2021 with the election of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, the state has leaned solidly Democratic in higher-turnout presidential years. In 2020, Biden beat Trump in Virginia by more than 10 percentage points. 

Despite some unfounded fraud claims from Trump supporters, a recently dropped criminal case involving the 2020 election revealed that the size of Biden’s victory was slightly understated due to counting errors in Prince William County affecting a few thousand ballots.

The state hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 2004, when former President George W. Bush defeated John Kerry.

Several polls have shown Biden well ahead of Trump in Virginia, but not by the double-digit margins of 2020.

In Virginia’s other statewide contest this year, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is seeking a third term in office. Eight Republicans are expected to compete in a June primary for the chance to run against Kaine, but the GOP doesn’t appear to be treating the Virginia seat as a major pickup opportunity. Kaine comfortably defeated former Gov. George Allen in 2012 and won a blowout victory over hard-right Republican Corey Stewart in 2018.

In 2020, when Virginia also had a U.S. Senate race alongside Trump on the ballot, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., beat Republican Daniel Gade by 12 percentage points.