Trump Captures Virginia in Close Contest

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Trump says that if heís elected president, heíll know within six months whether he can achieve an elusive peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians, …

In one of the closer contests of the night, Donald Trump edged Marco Rubio in Virginia on Super Tuesday. With 70 percent of the vote counted, Trump had 35 percent, followed by Marco Rubio with 31 percent.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was third, with 17 percent of the vote, followed by John Kasich with nine percent. Ben Carson was last, with just six percent of the vote.

Rubio ran up big vote margins in the Washington, DC suburbs of Northern Virginia and the areas around the state capital, Richmond. Trump had big wins in the rural parts of the state, especially Coal Country, in southwest Virginia.

Trump also won the vote-rich Tidewater area, which includes Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, with a heavy military presence. Marco Rubio was competitive in this area, however. Around a quarter of Virginia voters served in the military. Trump won these voters by almost 20 points.

Early exit polls gave a preview of a close race in Virginia. Just one-third of Virginia voters said they were “angry” with the federal government. This is one of the most predictive questions of Trump support. Trump, indeed, won these voters by 21 points.

More voters, however, said they were simply “dissatisfied” with the federal government. Rubio won these voters by 10 points.

Although Rubio came up short in Virginia, he definitely benefited from late momentum. Almost 30 percent of voters said they decided in the last few days. Rubio won these voters overwhelmingly.