Biden notches major win in Virginia primary
Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Virginia primary, giving him an important victory in the fourth-largest state to vote on Super Tuesday.
The race was called as soon as polls closed, though results were not available yet. As of 9 p.m., he had roughly 53 percent of the vote with more than 95 percent of precincts reporting.
The former vice president was competing against several candidates for support in Virginia, with surveys showing a tight race between Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg in the run-up to Super Tuesday.
But Biden’s big victory in South Carolina last week gave him a burst of momentum that propelled him to a victory in the Old Dominion.
Biden was boosted by a string of endorsements from high-profile Virginians, including Sen. Tim Kaine (D), former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and Democratic Reps. Bobby Scott, Jennifer Wexton and Don Beyer.
Biden’s victory is particularly harmful to Bloomberg, who invested and campaigned heavily in the state.
Bloomberg, who is on the ballot for the first time Tuesday, visited Virginia seven times, more than any other Super Tuesday state, and the campaign had 80 staffers across eight offices in the commonwealth.
Now Biden stands to win at least a plurality of Virginia’s 99 delegates. Exit polls showed that more than a quarter of the Democratic primary electorate in Virginia was African American, the latest sign that Biden has strong support among black voters.
Polls are still open in California, where 415 delegates are at stake, and in Texas, which accounts for 228 delegates.
All told, about 1,300 delegates will be awarded on Super Tuesday, accounting for about one-third of all pledged delegates up for grabs.
A candidate must win 1,991 delegates to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination.
Updated at 9 p.m.
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