February 12th, 2008
03:02 PM ET
15 years ago

Strong early turnout as 'Potomac Primaries' begin

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/12/art.voting.ap.jpg caption="Marilyn Hart casts her ballot in the primary election at the Ray of Hope Baptist Church, Tuesday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Business was brisk at polling places in Virginia and Maryland Tuesday where primaries could answer key questions in the Democratic and Republican nomination races.

The District of Columbia voters are also participating in the so-called "Potomac primaries" - named for the river that separates Virginia and Maryland and flows past the nation's capital, Washington.

At stake in the primaries are 238 Democratic delegates and 119 total GOP delegates. Polls in Maryland and the District of Columbia close at 8 p.m. and in Virginia at 7 p.m.

In Maryland, turnout was anticipated to be about 40 percent, which is above normal according to Ross Goldstein, deputy administrator for the state's Board of Elections.

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Filed under: Maryland • Virginia
soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Amy, Ohio

    Real Clear Politics updated delegate count:

    Obama 1004 pledged delegates, 1144 total
    Clinton 925 pledged delegates, 1138 total

    February 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Majority Rule Moral Rule

    Virgina has a habit of voting a lot of deceased people. I guess you could say the Dems are in the right party for illegal ballots. They have refused for years the rule of most States requiring ID for voting.

    February 12, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Mike

    Hillary is about to get spanked!

    February 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. John in Columbus, OH

    Look for Clinton (probably Bill, ex-First Black President) and her supporters to start talking about race again. It's disgusting.

    February 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Jacques Casimir

    As we know the Democratic primary in Texas is going to be important this year. Its also super complicated and you better start prepping your staff and viewers on how it works. 126 delegates are apportioned to the 32 congressional districts according to how many people voted in the district in 2004 and 2006 elections, meaning that 2 districts that are heavily black in dallas and Houston have 13 delegates between the two of them (The same number as north dakota) while 2 heavily hispanic districts didn't vote as much so they only will have 7 delegates. The district housing the university of Texas where obama held a 20,000 person rally has 8 delegates.

    That alone could cause confusion. Then after the polls close at 7:15 a caucus begins where 67 delegates will be selected, although only 42 will be that day, an additional 25 will be selected at the state convention.

    This hybrid system along with the way the delegates are dolled out could significantly tilt things in Obama's favor. He already has brought in his top caucus teams from Iowa and Washington to start working on these delegates which account for almost 40% of Texas pledged delegates. Or to look at it another way Texas can be broken into 2 states 126 delegates in a primary, about the size of New Jersey, then a caucus of 67 delegates or a state the size of arizona or a caucus the size of washington state.

    February 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. Jsalesc

    Everyone give Hillary your vote!!!!
    Clinton/Obama ticket is what this country needs. Help do the democrats and this country right. Clinton/Obama then he can run again in 8 years giving this country a Democrat president for 16 years. This is what our country needs to fix the mess its in. We get experiance and Change lets do it right . VOTE HILLARY!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. RealityKing

    More bad news for Billary..

    February 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Richard

    Hopefully the weather won't be a factor in the turnout! People must vote if they are to have a say in their government! I believe a poor turnout would favor Clinton.So please vote! Go Obama!

    February 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. John

    Hillary will be the next Guilliani, you watch. Texas and Ohio will be her undoing!

    Obama/Richardson 08!

    February 12, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Johnson

    Lets hope all of those voting machines have a paper ballot or some way to determine who voted for whom. You would think that since voting is so important, they would do something to make sure that the voting machines are as secure as possible. I still so many machines that are easily hackable to a novice computer hacker.

    February 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Murry

    Thank you MD, VA and DC! Stand up and shout.
    You know Barack Obama is the best candidate to take this country forward.

    February 12, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. Annamica, OH

    Since voting has always been low in this country, the turn-out while much higher than recent elections, is still pretty low. I am impressed with the number who has taken notice in this election and I hope it continues to rise. Voting is a civic duty we should all perform as Americans, and for a lot of us, it's a right our ancestors had to fight hard for. Take your stand, regardless of who you stand for, and vote this year. America needs you!

    February 12, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Avis C, Richton Park,IL

    I don't think the weather will stop the Obama train. People are excited and ready for a good change in politics and are ready to vote by any means necessary! Hillary Clinton thinks it's in her best interest to pretend that D.C, Virginia and Maryland don't matter because she's going to win the big states. I guess the "potomac primaries" don't count, oh yeah by the way Florida and Michigan votes should count because those people voted for her. There's only one problem, Florida and Michigan didn't follow the rules. What do we teach our children? If you break the rules you suffer the concequences.

    As my mother use to say "you gotta pay the cost to be the boss!"
    Let the people choose their Boss Hillary!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 12, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. Jether J.

    Hmmm, I wonder why. Please vote for Barack Obama!

    Obama '08!

    February 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. Katherine

    This morning, I reported to my polling place at 6 a.m., in the suburbs of Richmond, VA. I waited for an hour, then left. My hope was to return after the morning rush subsided.

    I returned at 10 a.m., and waited another hour and a half to vote.

    This is not a complaint, its an observation. I'm impressed with my fellow Virginians today.

    February 12, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Braineel

    I hope the Obama Momentum is the reason. A strong democratic turn out is wonderful either way. Dear independents, please vote with the movement.

    February 12, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. :))

    Pray for Hillary!!!

    February 12, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Allen

    Go Hillary! Heres to woman power.......

    February 12, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Everyone wants to be able to say, "I was there when we elected Barack Obama President of the United States."

    February 12, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Bobby-Arlington, VA

    Walked in and showed my id. Voted for Huckabee and walked out. Time: About 1 minute. No ice, no sleet, no rain, no lines, no problem.

    February 12, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Lol!

    OMGZ!! Lol!

    February 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  22. JDS N.C.

    This is bad news for HRC. Bye Bye Billary.

    February 12, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. Mark Cary, NC

    Interesting. I just spoke with my college roommate who lives in Silver Springs and she said it was dead this morning at her polling place. This is going to be interesting.

    February 12, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Randy - Denver

    Rememeber Maryland is a small state and therefore their votes should not be considered as representative of what Americans believe. And (If the polls do not go Ms. Clinton's way) the same can (and will) be said about Virginia... now if the votes turn Ms. Clinton's way these states will become the "American people speaking out" (for lies over substance I think) or some such spin by the Clintonistas.

    February 12, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. John Tsantakis

    It's simple. Some people offer change under a colorful mirage and others offer realistic change. When I heard Obama state that he is going to have the minimum wage follow the rate of inflation, I knew right then and there that he was offering something impossible. Think about it, really. During a staglflation, which some economists are claiming that we may be already heading towards, inflation(the price of goods and services) goes up while the economy goes down. What happens if you own a small business and pay some of your workers minimum wage? How can you possibly afford to give someone a raise while you aren't selling nearly as much. Would you give someone a 10 to 20% raise if your business waslosing money? I voted for Hillary cause she doesnt make unrealistic promises. Really think about who can bring about real change.

    February 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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