By Susan Laume:
Fairfax County voters turned out in large numbers for Super Tuesday’s Democratic primary vote, and decisively supported Joe Biden.
Biden won 49% of the almost 250,000 votes cast, followed by Bernie Sanders with 23%. Elizabeth Warren and Michael Bloomberg trailed with 12% and 11% respectively. Countywide, 34% of registered voters cast ballots.
Turnout far exceeded the 2016 Democratic primary, when 22% of voters, or 142,000, went to the polls.
The Blue View visited polling places in Springfield District Tuesday during voting to collect voter sentiment. Most of those interviewed supported Biden. Desire for a candidate who would be “the best person to defeat Trump” was a frequent refrain.
Jeff Friday, Sydenstricker precinct captain explained, “ I voted for Biden. I would have liked to vote for Bernie but I feel like I needed to vote for the best person to beat Trump.”
Michael Kvartunas, Orange Hunt precinct, in an age group (young) often attracted to Sanders, told us, “Biden is more centrist and has a better chance to beat Trump.”
Chloe Hyden, also of Orange Hunt precinct, echoed the same thought, “I’m not so sure Bernie can beat Trump and for me it’s all about getting rid of Trump.”
Many voters were forced to reevaluate their intended pick just days before they headed to polling places. Several candidates withdrew from the race immediately prior to Tuesday’s vote. Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer ended their campaigns after poor showings in the South Carolina primary held February 29.
Marlene Thompson, Sydenstriker precinct, said, “Moderates Pete and Amy are no longer viable. Bernie is too far out there, …. and Biden will win against Trump.”
Jennifer Miller’s family, Orange Hunt precinct, had the most unusual means of candidate choice we heard. She said, “We debated between Biden and Sanders. …We had met Vice President Biden years ago at Arlington as a military family. He ate Cheerios off my daughter’s stroller.” The family appreciated how down to earth and friendly he was and how he supported them during a rough time. She voted Biden.
Ballots were printed well ahead of primary day and were not changed to reflect those remaining in the race. Poll workers, who did not have sample ballots to hand out, took on the task of apprising voters which names on the ballot were still viable candidates.
No Republican Party primary was held since Republicans chose to select delegates for their national convention at a state convention planned for May 1-2 in Richmond.
Virginia joined 13 other states and one territory in holding its primary on “Super Tuesday.” Statewide, 1.3 million voters went to the polls, 500,000 more than in 2016. Biden won 53% of the vote and 66 of the 99 delegates to the Democrats’ presidential nominating convention in Milwaukee in July.
Sanders came in second with 23% and 31 delegates. Warren won 2 delegates with 11%.
Main photo: Poll volunteers guided voters on active candidacies, since the ballot contained 14 names/ Photos by Susan Laume
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