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“I’m a believer in this man,” said Mr. Rosenker, an official in the administration of George W. Bush. “I just think he’s somebody who can actually lead this nation out of the problems we have today.”

Patricia Martin cast her ballot for Mr. Romney at the Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield. But when asked whether anything about him appealed to her besides his perceived electability, Ms. Martin had to stop and think.

“No,” she said. “I really don’t know much about the others.”

But Tuesday’s results are not exactly cause to start popping champagne, Mr. Farnsworth said.

“There’s nothing unexpected about Romney winning … when there are only two people on the ballot, and the other one is Ron Paul,” he said. “It’s like the Nationals beating the Georgetown University baseball team.”

Virginia is likely to be a major battleground in November as well.

A recent NBC/Marist poll showed President Obama with a 52 percent to 35 percent lead over Mr. Romney among registered voters in a hypothetical matchup in the state. Most polls have shown Mr. Obama with a more modest lead; Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents made up 50 percent of the poll’s sample, compared with 35 percent for Republicans and Republican leaners.

Mr. Obama, who has made several recent trips to the commonwealth, is scheduled to make a Friday stop in Prince George County, about 25 miles southeast of Richmond, to talk about the economy.

At stake Tuesday were 46 of the state’s 49 delegates. Three are awarded to the winner of each of the state’s 11 congressional districts, with 13 at-large delegates going to the statewide winner. The unofficial results had Mr. Paul winning the 3rd Congressional District, which is represented by Rep. Robert C. Scott, a Democrat, in southeastern Virginia, preventing Mr. Romney from sweeping the state completely. Three delegates are unbound by Tuesday’s results.