Marco Rubio did surprisingly well in a key state — but nevertheless lost to Donald Trump

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REUTERS/Mike Stone

Marco Rubio's critics have repeatedly highlighted the fact that he was not expected to win any of the swath of "Super Tuesday" primaries and caucuses.

But in Virginia — a major state and one of first primaries to wrap up voting — Rubio is doing surprisingly well, according to CNN's exit polls.

The exit polls found GOP frontrunner Donald Trump leading Rubio just 34% to 31% in Virginia.

Trump is nevertheless expected to have a good night on Tuesday, with the notable exception of Texas. Polls found Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas leading in his home state.

Exit polls haven't always been reliable in past states.

NOW WATCH: A global intelligence analyst explains why Clinton is sinking in the polls

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