Virginia Democratic primary, 2008

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The 2008 Virginia Democratic primary took place on February 12, 2008, an election day nicknamed the "Potomac Primary" because the District of Columbia and Maryland also held Democratic primaries.[1] The Virginia Democratic primary was an open primary, and was competitive for the first time since 1988.[2] Barack Obama won the primary, as he did the other Potomac contests that day.[3]


Six national candidates appeared on the ballot in the Virginia primary. However, all but Obama and Hillary Clinton had withdrawn prior to the primary on February 12.




The prior week, Barack Obama had beaten Hillary Clinton in Nebraska (68%-32%),[7] in Washington (68%-31%) [8] and in Louisiana (57%-36%) [9] by large margins.

The Clinton Campaign looked towards the primary in Virginia as well as those in Maryland and Washington, D.C. which were held on the same day. Though Hillary Clinton spent more resources in the Maryland Primary, she also campaigned in Virginia, particularly in Northern Virginia.


The Barack Obama campaign divided Virginia into 4 regions in which to campaign: Northern Virginia, Richmond, Charlottesville, and the Tidewater region in the southeast. He was expected to do well with affluent and independent voters, as well as with African-American voters, who could total 25% of the vote on primary day.[2]

The Hillary Clinton campaign said it would focus its efforts on Prince William and Loudoun counties, especially older white professional women, and also in the unemployment plagued Southwest Virginia.[2]


Barack Obama had a significant lead over Hillary Clinton in final polling throughout the state.


Candidate Survey USA Mason Dixon InsiderAdvantage Rasmussen
Hillary Clinton 38% 37% 37% 37%
Barack Obama 60% 53% 52% 55%


Key: Withdrew
prior to contest
Virginia Democratic presidential primary, 2008
99.95% of precincts reporting[10]
Candidate Votes Percentage National delegates[11]
Barack Obama 627,820 63.66% 54
Hillary Clinton 349,766 35.46% 29
John Edwards 5,206 0.52% 0
Dennis Kucinich 1,625 0.16% 0
Bill Richardson 991 0.10% 0
Joe Biden 795 0.08% 0
Totals 986,203 100.00% 83

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Up next: the Potomac Primary". MSNBC. 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  2. ^ a b c Turque, Bill; Kornblut, Anne E. (2008-02-07). "Va. Is Next Battleground In Democrats' Long Fight". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  3. ^ "RESULTS: Virginia". CNN. 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  4. ^ Bosman, Julie; Zernike, Kate (2008-01-31). "Edwards abruptly ends Presidential bid". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  5. ^ Falcone, Michael (2008-01-24). "Kucinich to Drop out of Presidential Race". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  6. ^ Phillips, Kate (2008-01-10). "Richardson drops out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  7. ^ "CNN Election Center 2008: Nebraska Caucus Results". Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  8. ^ "CNN Election Center 2008: Washington Caucus Results". Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  9. ^ "Louisiana Primary Results". CNN. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  10. ^ "2008 Democratic Presidential Primary Unofficial Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  11. ^ The Green Papers