ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — It was just days ago that Democrats won control of the Virginia General Assembly, but attention is already turning to the next election and this one could have national implications.
Super Tuesday is March 3, 2020, and Virginia is one of 16 states casting ballots for Democrats running for president.
Dr. Karen Hult is a professor of political science and political analyst for WFXR News. She said the dynamics of the March Super Tuesday race could be similar to this week’s election in terms of Democratic turnout.
“There may well be strong turnout among Democratic voters, to be sure,” she said. “Virginia is an open primary system, which means people from any party can vote in any election.”
She noted that nearly every leading Democratic presidential candidate made a stop in the Commonwealth or offered support to candidates in some way during the 2019 election.
While presidential politics often focuses on the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Hult said about 40 percent of delegates are chosen on Super Tuesday.
Of the 16 states voting, only California, Texas, and North Carolina have more delegates than Virginia.
“That means that Virginia is an important part of that discussion,” Hult noted.
The big unknown is who will be left in the race come March 3. Big names like former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke have already dropped out and California Sen. Kamala Harris has closed offices and cut staff in New Hampshire, leaving some to wonder if she will stay in the race past the early primary states. Then there are surprises like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to get on the Alabama ballot even though he previously said he would not run for president.
“Some of it depends on what will happen in the Democratic debate that’s coming up soon,” Hult explained, saying there are other debates planned for December and January.
Front-runners like former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, among others, will be fighting for every possible delegate.
One thing is for sure: political advertisements and door knocking. We only have 116 more days until the next election.