PRIMARY

Fairfax County Democratic Committee volunteers chat with voters before they cast their ballots in Virginia’s 2020 Democratic primary at Waples Mill Elementary School.

Joe Biden enjoyed a resounding victory in Virginia’s Democratic presidential primary on Mar. 3.

The Associated Press projected that the former U.S. vice president would win Virginia, one of 14 states up for grabs on the biggest night of the race to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president, as soon as polls closed at 7:00 p.m.

Unofficial returns from the Virginia Department of Elections show about 54 percent of all ballots going to Biden, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had 23 percent of the electorate with close to 90 percent of the Commonwealth’s 2,581 precincts reporting.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren narrowly edged out former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for third place, capturing about 10.5 percent of the vote to Bloomberg’s 9.4 percent.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the fifth remaining Democratic presidential candidate, trailed the pack with less than 1 percent of voters.

After initially stumbling when voters started weighing in on the 2020 presidential contest in February, Biden has surged over the past week with a needed win in South Carolina on Feb. 29 and a rush of endorsements from party moderates, including former opponents Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

The former South Bend, Ind., mayor and sitting Minnesota senator threw their support behind Biden after announcing that they were suspending their own bids for the Democratic nomination on Mar. 1 and 2, respectively.

Virginia has 99 delegates. Candidates need 1,991 delegates nationwide to earn the nomination, which will be officially awarded at the Democratic National Convention in July in Milwaukee, Wis.

Early unofficial results from the Fairfax County Office of Elections matched those of Virginia as a whole, with Biden leading, Sanders coming in second, and Warren and Bloomberg jockeying for third place.

As of 4:00 p.m., Fairfax County estimated that voter turnout for the primary would be 20 percent in its final report before polls closed. That projection was based just on in-person voting without taking absentee ballots into account.

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