Mitt Romney won the Virginia Republican primary on Super Tuesday, beating out his only GOP rival in the state, Ron Paul.
With just 5% of polls reporting in the state, Romney was already declared the winner, notching 58% to Paul’s 42%.
It was the first win for Romney on Super Tuesday. Paul remains the only GOP presidential candidate to not have won a state.
Only Romney and Paul were present on the ballots in Virginia.
Turnout was reported to be light.
According to a Roanoke College survey, 56% said they were backing Romney of the weekend. But if Santorum and Gingrich were on the ballot, the poll indicates it would have shown a much closer race, with Romney projected at 31%, Rick Santorum 27%, Newt Gingrich 13% and Paul 12%.
Santorum and Gingrich failed to get on the ballot in Virgina. In December 2011, when the GOP field also included Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Jon Huntsman, the Virginia ballot requirements caused a controversy. Gingrich was furious at the time, saying, "Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot. Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates."
Santorum's stance on abortion and birth control is popular with Virginia voters and the majority of state legislators.
Voters say they are disappointed that Santorum and Gingrich are not in the race. Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee said voters feel cheated: "The primary would have been more lively with more candidates on the GOP ballot."
According to ABC News, "House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, officially threw his support behind Mitt Romney Sunday morning, becoming the highest ranking Member of Congress to endorse a GOP presidential candidate."
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