Virginia Democratic primary voters who did not identify themselves as Democrats were more likely to back Barack Obama, according to exit polls.
One out of every five Democratic primary voters were independent - and those voters chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton, 67 to 32 percent. Seven percent of the voters in that contest were Republican voters who decided not to vote in their own party’s primary – they chose Obama by an even larger margin, 71 to 25 percent over Clinton. Self-identified Democrats also chose Obama, 59 to 20 percent.
Roughly one out of every five voters in the GOP primary were independent as well – but those voters did not vote for the party’s likely nominee, John McCain, who had been expected to benefit from their support. Instead, independent voters backed Mike Huckabee over McCain, 43 to 34 percent, with Ron Paul pulling in 19 percent. Republicans also broke for Huckabee, but by a much narrower margin, 47 to 45 percent. Virtually no Democrats participated in the Republican contest.
- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand