- Virginia’s Democratic Primary opens today, and 99 delegates are up for grabs.
- Joe Biden is a heavy favorite to win a plurality of delegates in Virginia.
- Despite Biden being the favorite, other candidates could still capture a respectable number of delegates.
RICHMOND, Va. – Polling has officially opened on Virginia’s Super Tuesday Democratic Primary, and results are expected to be in by 7:30 p.m. today. Virginia has 124 total Democratic delegates, 99 of which are pledged based on the results of the primary.
Virginia is one of a handful of open primary states—states in which voters do not have to pledge affiliation to either party to vote in the primary. In South Carolina, the only open primary state to have voted thus far, former Vice President Joe Biden won decisively.
Oddsmakers expect similar results in Virginia. Super Tuesday odds have Biden as a prohibitive favorite to garner the most votes in the state.
Odds For Virginia Democratic Primary
Of the 14 Super Tuesday states, Virginia has the fourth-most available delegates. Because Biden did so well in South Carolina, which borders Virginia, it would be a huge shock to see him lose in the Old Dominion. Biden’s odds to win the most votes at the Virginia Democratic Primary are listed at -4000.
Winning Virginia will be a key component of Biden’s plan to recapture momentum away from Senator Bernie Sanders, who got out to a commanding lead by winning the popular vote in the first three early voting states (Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada).
Because Republicans can vote in the Democratic Primary in Virginia, Joe Biden’s announcement that he would consider a Republican running mate could pay dividends with moderate conservatives in the state.
The wild card in this election is former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who made the unusual decision to skip campaigning in early voting states and instead focus his efforts on Super Tuesday.
Bloomberg has spent nearly $18 million on advertising in Virginia alone, but because he was not on the ballot in any of the early voting states, it’s difficult to get a solid read on whether or not his gamble will pay off. Bloomberg’s odds to win the Virginia Democratic Primary are listed at +10000.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is still in the race as well, although time appears to be running out on her campaign after winning only eight delegates through the first four primary voting states. Warren’s Odds to win Virginia are +10000, reflecting her previous performances.
But, for Super Tuesday, Oddsmakers have determined winners of the states as the candidates that receive the most votes and not the most delegates.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s simulation projections, Joe Biden has about a 98% chance to win Virginia. Bernie Sanders has about a 2% chance and the other two top democratic candidates have less than a 1% chance to win.
How Virginia Primary Odds Affect General Election
Unlike the electoral college in the general election, primary election delegates do not vote as a monolith. Candidates can and do split state delegates all the time.
Biden is very likely to win the state, so most of the intrigue will center on how many delegates Sanders can snatch. A total of 65 of Virginia’s 99 delegates are awarded based on congressional district voting results.
Many of these districts are tightly contested between Sanders and Biden, so Sanders could conceivably take a good chunk of the Virginia delegates even if he loses the popular vote by a wide margin.
Bloomberg and Warren are not expected to cross the 15% viability threshold to be eligible to receive delegates.
All this said, Super Tuesday will have a massive impact on overall presidential election odds, as another strong showing from Biden could see his odds surpass those of Sanders, who looked like a presumptive nominee up until the South Carolina primary.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.