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Low-key Virginia primary buried in Super Tuesday

Monday - 3/5/2012, 7:49am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Virginia is a key state in national elections, a must-win state come November. But Virginia's Republican primary on Tuesday could be an afterthought for many people.

There are 46 Republican delegates at stake in the Old Dominion in Tuesday's vote, but with only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the GOP presidential nomination ballot, the state is getting little attention among the 10 primaries on Super Tuesday.

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum failed to get the required 10,000 signatures in order to get on the ballot.

There is no place on the primary ballot to write-in a candidate so voters can only choose from Romney or Paul.

It also is an open primary where Independents and Democrats can vote.

No candidates will be campaigning in Virginia Monday or Tuesday, and there are no campaign ads on local radio or TV across the state.

Retired Virginia Commonwealth University political scientist Robert Holsworth says the lack of a competitive primary could have some negative impact on Republican organizing efforts heading into the November election where Virginia will be a key state.

President Obama won Virginia in 2008, the first Democrat to do so since 1964. The state is considered a tossup for this election.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)