Virginia holds its Democratic and Republican primaries on March 1, 2016. 109 delegates are at stake for the Democrats and 49 delegates for the Republicans. The Old Dominion was part of the solid Democratic South in the first half of the 20th century. The state didn’t gain prominence in presidential politics until the 2008 and 2012 elections. In 2008, then Sen. Barack Obama campaigned hard in Virginia and won the primary over rival, Hillary Clinton.
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Why The State Is Significant:
• In addition to the number of party-specific delegates cited above, there are 15 superdelegates.
• The state's African-American population is a powerful demographic. Case in point: African-Americans made up 30 percent of the 2008 Democratic primary electorate, a significant factor in pushing Virginia to a blue state. That figure stayed the same in 2012, albeit with lower voter turnout.
• The state's Republicans are a polarizing bunch, with establishment types ruling the north, and social conservatives dominating the south and the west. This means the state is a significant battleground for the GOP, amping up the battle between Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
• As for the Democrats, Bernie Sanders has an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton, since Governor Terry McAuliffe is a longtime ally and outspoken supporter of the Clintons. And Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, also ran McAuliffe's successful campaign there.