Low Turnout Expected for Virginia's Super Tuesday
Light turnout expected due to slim pickings on ballot.
Centreville polls were decidedly quiet this morning, as few voters turned out to cast their ballots in the presidential primary election.
"It's been pretty much a slow stream, maybe two or three people at once," said John Kuchenbrod, chief election officer at Deer Park, where 50 out of 3,000 voters had cast their ballots by about 10:30 a.m. "I'm not even sure I'd call it a stream—it's more like a trickle."
As Virginia heads into Super Tuesday, the mood is decidedly flat, likely due in part to the ballot offering only two choices to voters: former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.
"I expect a poor turnout. With no real competition, many voters will conclude, 'Why bother?'" said Mark J. Rozell, professor of Public Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax.
"I don't think that's going to point to the lack of enthusiasm of Republicans for November," Kelly noted. "It's more of a reflection just of the… lack of overall attention that seems to be paid here. I'd have to assume that turnout is going to be lower."
Anthony Bedell, chairman of the Fairfax County Republicans, agreed. "Turnout will be very low," he predicted.
Potential VP McDonnell encourages participation
Gov. Bob McDonnell, who has endorsed frontrunner Mitt Romney and campaigned with him in South Carolina and Florida, asked that voters turn out on Tuesday, in a conference call with reporters on Monday.
"We have two candidates — Ron Paul and our endorsed candidate Gov. Mitt Romney — and while it [the Virginia primary] is one of 10 races that are being held across the country, we obviously think Virginia is a critically important state," McDonnell said.
"It's said to be a swing state," he said. "It was a state that three, four years ago went for Obama and seven years ago went for President Bush so it certainly has the ability for both Democrats and Republicans to win. That's why most people think Virginia will be a very important state in November. We're asking our Republican activists and Independents who want to vote in the Republican primary, to go out and vote tomorrow."
Is McDonnell, who is oft-discussed as a potential running mate with Romney, serving up Virginia's delegates to Romney on a silver platter? University of Virginia Prof. Larry Sabato, in his "Crystal Ball" report, noted Virginia's leaders are Romney supporters and said that Romney will "sweep or nearly sweep" the state and is "guaranteed Virginia" and its 46 delegates up for grabs.
Romney vs. Paul, part one
During the 2008 elections, the county overwhelmingly voted for John McCain, as did Centreville.
Romney only received 4.9 percent of the vote from Sully District voters in 2008, taking third place, followed by Ron Paul with 4.4 percent of the vote. Results were similar in most other Fairfax County precincts.
That same year, there was both a Democratic and Republican primary, and turnout was about 11 percent statewide, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections.
Patch editors Nicole Trifone and Jason Spencer contributed to this report.