Current polling results suggest Biden will claim victory in the Virginia Democratic primary, securing the state’s 99 delegates. Polls before his landslide win in South Carolina showed Virginia to be a tight race between Biden, Sanders and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“Above everything else, I think Biden can beat Trump,” said Northumberland County resident Nolan Noel.
He said Biden’s experience will help him understand how to ensure health care for people like himself who have medical disabilities—in his case, congestive heart failure, kidney failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“I prefer to see somebody that’s more experienced instead of somebody else new on the ticket,” said Noel.
Democrats are competing on Super Tuesday for 1,357 delegates in 14 states and American Samoa — a third of the total convention delegates.
Results can make or break a candidate’s chances at winning the nomination. If one candidate pulls ahead with several hundred more delegates, it will be difficult for the others to catch up.
Richmond native Zanthia Mathis said she voted for Biden because of his push for equality. “We have the leader of the free world saying, ‘Make American Great Again.’ How about make it civil again? Joe will do that.”
Mathis said she originally considered voting for Bloomberg but ultimately decided to back Biden.
“He [Bloomberg] has the financial power to stay in the race and money has to meet money sometimes, which we have in the White House now, but I had to go with experience,” said Mathis.
While middle-aged and older voters are supporting Biden because of his familiarity with the duties of the commander-in-chief from serving beside President Barack Obama, Virginia’s young Democrats are backing Sanders because of his promise to end student loans and college debt.
“We’re voting for Bernie because he has the best shot at beating Trump and he’s trying to get rid of student loans,” said Virginia Commonwealth University sophomore Victoria Chege.
Although Sanders is projected to bring home the greatest number of delegates Tuesday, Biden has a more promising chance of winning states with a higher African American electorate such as Virginia and Alabama, where he’s spent the past few days campaigning.
A recent Monmouth University poll shows Biden beating Sanders among white voters (49% Biden to 40% Sanders) and Biden beating Sanders with an even wider margin among black voters (63% to 27%).
VCU junior Tim Edgerton originally supported Sanders but decided to vote for Biden last minute because of his educational promises.
“I was on the fence between Joe and Bernie, but I saw that Joe was really into paying teachers more and getting more funding for schools and that is something I’m really interested in because I’m an education major,” said Edgerton.