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Did Virginia Democrats turn out to vote against Trump?

Voters line up to cast ballots on Super Tuesday.
Voters line up to cast ballots on Super Tuesday.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

About 6 percent of voters in Virginia's Republican primary were Democrats, according to a CNN exit poll.

That jibes with anecdotal evidence of Democrats voting in the opposite party's primary strategically — though whether "strategically" translated into "for Donald Trump" (because they thought Trump would be easy to beat) or "against Donald Trump" (because they were horrified by the prospect of a Trump presidency) isn't yet clear.

But this number should be taken with two big grains of salt. First, it's a small sample size from an early exit poll in a state that's still too close to call.

Second, Democrats crossing the aisle in Virginia is a time-honored tradition. In 2012, 5 percent of Virginia's Republican primary voters were Democrats, according to CNN. In 2008, 3 percent were — during a bitterly fought Democratic primary when Democrats had good reason to weigh in on their own party.

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