Thirteen states vote Tuesday in presidential primaries or caucuses — the most in 2016.
You might have been told about the value of Super Tuesday for figuring out who the next president is, but you are still unclear what it is specifically.
Here is an clarification of Super Tuesday and why you should care.
What is Super Tuesday?
Super Tuesday is a Tuesday in the presidential primary election season whereby the major number of states hold their primaries or caucuses.
This year’s Super Tuesday takes place on Tuesday, March 1.
The Super Tuesday election day usually includes at least a dozen contests, which makes it possible that a candidate who executes well on Super Tuesday will go on to secure the nomination.
The Super Tuesday nick name dates to the 1980 election, when Alabama, Florida and Georgia organised primaries on the same day.
Based on a report by National Public Radio, the present, high-stakes Super Tuesday contest came about in 1988, when a dozen Southern states chose to hold Democratic primaries on the same day with the objective of nominating a more moderate Democratic presidential candidate. The attempt failed, when then-Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.) and Jesse Jackson divided the Southern states, setting the stage for then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis (D), a Northern liberal, to become the party’s nominee.
What are this year’s Super Tuesday states?
Thirteen U.S. states and one American territory will support primaries or caucuses on Tuesday.
In the large bulk of the Super Tuesday states, both Republican and Democratic elections will be happening. Those elections are:
3. Colorado caucus
6. Minnesota caucus
The battles taking place exclusively on the Democratic side are the American Samoa caucus and the primary for Democrats living abroad. In Alaska and Wyoming, which are organizing caucuses, only Republicans will vote.
What is the significant difference concerning a primary and a caucus?
A primary election is a basic secret-ballot vote managed by a state or local government. A caucus, by contrast, is run by the state-level political party and consists of some element of party activists persuading one another to be a part of their preferred candidate.
There are usually complicated historical and political factors that some states hold a caucus rather than a primary.
How does the delegate math operate?
Both primaries and caucuses are utilized to determine how many party delegates will back a given candidate in the two parties’ national conventions this summer. Except for rare exceptions, the candidate with the most delegates then brings in the nomination.
To make matters more complex, some states award delegates on a winner-take-all foundation, while others asign delegates in proportion to the share of the vote a candidate gets.
And the Democratic Party sets aside a specific number of seats at its convention for “superdelegates”: prominent party activists and officials who calculate as delegates, but do not require to listen to the voters in the primary or caucus state they represent. Hillary Clinton’s lead among superdelegates is one factor she emerged from the New Hampshire primary with a relatively even number of delegates, regardless of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) landslide victory in the state.
Suppose you are not a registered party member?
If you are among the 39 % of Americans who does not affiliate with either major political party, you might be tempted to disregard the primary stage of the presidential race completely.
In fact, the primary elections are when party activists choose their nominee.
But many states have “open” primaries and caucuses, which suggests you can vote in them even if you are not registered with either party.
To learn whether your Super Tuesday state has an open primary or caucus, and where the closest polling place is, seek advice from the news site 2016 Election Central.
How could this year’s Super Tuesday impact the presidential race?
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is projected to do considerably better than Bernie Sanders in most of the Super Tuesday states, based on Sources Pollster. The Southern states specifically play to Clinton’s advantage among African-American voters.
That is not very good news for the Sanders campaign in the wake of disappointing losses in the Nevada caucus and the South Carolina primary. If Sanders does not accumulate multiple wins on Super Tuesday, his route to the nomination will thin drastically.
On the Republican half, the party’s business-friendly establishment is hell-bent on slowing down Donald Trump’s momentum. Trump is top in most Super Tuesday states. But given the delegate lead Trump has currently amassed, the races may be more crucial for his top rivals. Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are eager to show they are a sensible alternative to Trump.
Why should you vote?
Voters in both political parties are locked in good fights to shape their parties’ ideological character and policy focal points. If you have strong feelings about Sanders’ effort to make the Democratic Party less accommodating to big business and beholden to donors, or Trump’s utilize of racial incitement, reality TV-style improvisation and economic populism to improve the GOP, then now is your time to weigh in.
If that does not persuade you, here are some other good reasons.