Huffpost Politics

Virginia Primary 2012 Outlook: Mitt Romney Favored To Win Super Tuesday Contest

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The 2012 Virginia primary is expected to produce a win for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday.

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich did not meet the qualifications to appear on the state's primary ballot.

ABC News notes a twist of irony in the situation: both candidates have residences in the Old Dominion State.

Write-in votes will not be permitted in the race. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's name will still appear on the ballot.

Local station WDBJ 7 reports that turnout is expected to be low for the contest, which has 49 delegates at stake.

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports on polling conducted in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in Virginia:

Polls have also been sparse in Virginia, mostly because only two candidates, Romney and Paul, have qualified for the Virginia ballot, but those polls that have been fielded show Romney leading by enormous margins. The two most recent include a NBC News/Marist College poll that found Romney leading by a whopping 43 percentage point margin (69 to 26 percent) and a Roanoke College poll conducted in the latter half of February that shows Romney leading 56 to 21 percent. The two new surveys are roughly consistent with polls conducted earlier in February by Quinnipiac University and the Christopher Newport University for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The new polls are very good news for Romney because he receives a comfortable majority of the vote. Virginia will award all of its 13 at-large delegates to the winner if that candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote statewide. The state also awards delegates on a winner-take-all basis in each of its 11 congressional districts (3 per district).

The NBC/Marist poll showed little regional variation in vote preferences, so Romney stands a good chance of winning all 46 of the Virginia delegates up for grabs on Tuesday.

Primary and caucus contests taking place in other states on Super Tuesday include: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Vermont.

Check out the slideshow below for more on the Romney campaign.

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