Super Tuesday primaries in Virginia, elsewhere

With two dropping out of the race after South Carolina's primary Saturday, the field is down to five and threatens to turn into a race between three white guys in their 70s.

Virginia joins several other states for Super Tuesday primaries that will select 1,357 delegates to those who will choose the Democratic nominee for president.

The Democratic Party has 3,979 delegates who determine their national presidential nominating process and it takes 1,991 to clinch the nominating process.

Virginia’s 95 Democratic delegates could be spit among the remaining party nominees. After the South Carolina primary Saturday, billionaire Tom Steyer and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race.

That leaves former vice president Joe Biden, whose strong victory in South Carolina revised his slumbering campaign, self-style socialist and independent Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former prosecutor Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Mike Bloomberg a remaining five among what were more than a dozen vying for the job.

Before South Carolina, Biden’s campaign was on life-support after a strong start but Saturday’s big wins puts him second with 53 delegates, just seven behind Sanders’ 60 with one delegate in South Carolina still not allocated.

Super Tuesday can also either show Biden is back in the fight or returns to the life support list if he doesn’t generate support and strong wins. A defining factor could be California, where 415 delegates are at stake and polls showed Sanders with a double digit lead but Biden appears to be gaining along with Warren.

Texas, with 228 delegates, shows Sanders and Biden within four points of other.

Super Tuesday should be defining for those who finished at the tail end of South Carolina, especially Warren (eight delegates) and Klobuchar (7). Super Tuesday is also the first showing of Bloomberg, whose late entry to the race and a media-driven campaign that ignored the early primaries, and his showing Tuesday could determine whether he says in the race.

Buttigieg was the first openly gay candidate to run for president. If Warren and Klobuchar drop out, the race for the nomination could be a tussle between three white guys in their mid to late 70s who want to unseat a 73-year-old white president.

Warren hopes she can show appeal in at least some states on Super Tuesday. Among Democratic leaders, calls for Klobuchar to drop out increased over the weekend.

In 2016, Floyd County Democrats gave Bernie Sanders a strong victory locally but statewide, Hillary Clinton won the state.

Floyd County, along with much of Southwestern Virginia, went for Donald Trump in the 2016 general election, but Northern Virginia, Tidewater and Richmond gave the statewide victory, and the state’s electoral votes, to Clinton.

This time around? We will find out after the polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

As the old Chicago political bosses used to say, “vote early and vote often.”

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