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Romney Wins Virginia GOP Primary Amidst Low Turnout

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Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has reportedly won the GOP primary in Virginia, despite low turnout.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has reportedly won the GOP primary in Virginia, despite low turnout.

Mitt Romney has easily won a poor turnout election in Virginia. With 99 percent of districts reporting, Romney's total stands at 59.4 percent to Ron Paul's 40.6 percent.

Only 260,000 of Virginia's 4.6 million voters showed up at the polls for Super Tuesday, the smallest turnout that many voters say they could remember. Part of the low turnout was driven by the lack of choices, with only former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul qualifying to be on the ballot.

Alexandria Republican Pat Troy says he wanted to vote for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was leading in some Virginia polls when he failed to qualify for the ballot: "These people are running for the president of the United States and they didn't even register or anything? That's very belittling to the commonwealth of Virginia."

Republican voter Ken VonSchaumburg disagrees with those who say the Virginia primary was meaningless.

"No I don't think it's an empty victory at all. I mean the whole game is to get as many delegates as possible," says VonSchaumburg. "That's part of the strategy. Everybody could have participated here in Virginia, and for whatever reason or another they didn't."

Romney won Virginia with a strong showing among party loyalists, conservatives, Tea Party supporters and voters who consider the ability to defeat President Barack Obama the most important quality in a candidate, the Associated Press reported.

Preliminary results of an exit poll in Virginia showed that Paul fared well among moderates and independents, but it wasn't enough to overcome a front-runner who had the support of the state's GOP establishment, including Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Forty-six of the state's 49 GOP delegates were at stake in a race that generated little energy among the state's Republicans. Having garnered more than 50 percent of the votes, Romney can add them all to his delegate count for the night.

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