Exploring Virginia before Super Tuesday
From the suburbs around D.C. and Arlington with their urban and liberal counterparts, to the evangelical south, Virginia is a place of variety, a seat of diversity and a bastion of American political history. With its wide social, economic, geographic and religious spread, Virginia is fairly emblematic of the country as a whole — and it’s one of 13 states (and one territory) that participates in Super Tuesday, the most significant day of the 2016 primary season.
Candidates from both parties — Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Republicans Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ben Carson — hope that Virginians give them a win. For some GOP contenders, a Super Tuesday boost is vital to the reality of their campaigns. But what do Virginians want?
Award-winning photographer Mark Peterson started from the Delmarva Peninsula, where the state begins, crossed the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk, then went on to Williamsburg and the capital of Richmond. He traveled along the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, then down to Leesburg and the rural areas around Blacksburg, intent on covering the city, the country, the conservative, the liberal. Peterson asked the people he talked to a single question: “What is the one thing in this election that is most important to you?”
Here’s what he discovered.
These photographs were shot on assignment by Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work “Political Theater” which examines the landscape of the American political system.