The event, which was attended by more than 100 people at Lost Boy Cider, is the first indicator of how Alexandria might turn out in the run up to Tuesday’s primary. Virginia is one of 15 states participating in Super Tuesday primary on March 3.
Biden, whose campaign was re-energized after winning the South Carolina primary on Saturday night, won the straw poll with 48 votes, or 38.7%. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took second place with 39 votes, or 31.5%; former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg took third place with 14 votes, or 11.29 percent; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders took fourth place with 13 votes, or 10.4%; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar received 8 votes, or 6.4%.
Former Florida Sen. Bill Nelson spoke as a Biden surrogate, and said that the former vice president can beat Donald Trump this November.
“We are so divided. There is so much political hate out there,” Nelson said. “This presidential race in November is going to be decided on the swing states. You take a state like Pennsylvania, you take a state like mine, Florida, which is the swingingest of the swing states, and it’s always close. Joe Biden can beat Donald Trump in those swing states.”
In addition to the unofficial win, Biden’s campaign picked up the endorsement of Alexandria’s Rep. Don Beyer (D), who previously backed Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Indiana mayor who announced earlier in the day that he had suspended his campaign.
Among attendees, local Democrat Gail Gordon Donegan was split between voting for Biden and Bloomberg.
“I’m strongly leaning Biden,” she said. “I really respect Bloomberg and what he has done for the gun violence prevention community and all that he has done to help elect Democrats with his money. I think at this point, though, that Biden might be our best chance to beat Trump and Bloomberg might be a good fit for a cabinet position down the road.”
At the event, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey spoke as a surrogate for Klobuchar, Councilman Mo Seifeldein spoke for Sanders, Councilman John Taylor Chapman spoke for Warren, and former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg spoke for Bloomberg.
Sen. Tim Kaine, meanwhile, is scheduled to help the Biden campaign phone bank at its Eisenhower Avenue office this afternoon.
ADC Chair Clarence Tong said that the committee needs volunteers between now and November.
“The straw poll is an indicator, but we know that lots of Democrats will be turning out on Super Tuesday,” he said. “We’re trying to reach voters and recruit as many volunteers as possible to help us for the November election.”
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