and Democrats will flock to the polls and meeting rooms on Tuesday
across 12 states, where primaries and caucuses will make or break the
seven candidates’ campaigns to become their party’s nominee in
the 2016 presidential election.
is Super Tuesday?
it is the Tuesday when more party delegates can be won than on any
other day of the primary season. It is traditionally seen as a
candidate’s first test of countrywide popularity.
year, there will be ten states with either primaries or caucuses for
both parties: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Democrats alone
will caucus in Colorado, while only Republicans will caucus in
Alaska. There will be Republican caucuses in Colorado and Wyoming,
but the results won’t be available until the next day.
the large number of Southern states involved, the event has already
been dubbed the “SEC Primary,” in a nod to the college sports’
Southeastern Conference. That said, this Super Tuesday will reach as
far as the Pacific island territory of American Samoa, where 10
delegates for the Democratic nomination will be at stake.
the Democrats’ side, this is a crucial test for the insurgent
campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, after Saturday’s
crushing defeat in South Carolina to the preferred candidate of the
party establishment, Hillary Clinton. Democrats will allocate 865
delegates in Tuesday’s voting – more than a third of the 2,383
required to secure the nomination.
only slightly behind Clinton in primary delegates won, Sanders is
trailing badly in terms of “superdelegates” – party officials
who are pledged separately from the popular vote. With those votes
accounted for, Clinton is leading 544 to 85, according to AP.
the Republican side, 595 delegates – almost half of the 1,237
needed for the nomination – will be decided on Tuesday. The largest
single state at stake is Texas, with 155 delegates, followed by
Georgia with 76 and Tennessee with 58. However, neither party allows
states with primaries held before March 15 to allocate the votes
under a “winner take all” system, so even a loss means getting
Trump currently leads the delegate count with 82. Florida Senator
Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are both hoping to emerge as
the establishment-backed counter to Trump, adding to their count of
16 and 17 candidates, respectively – and pinning their hopes on
their home states.
do the polls say?
latest CNN/ORC poll shows Clinton leading with 55 percent, and
Sanders with 38 percent. The Vermont Senator is favored to carry his
home state and is enjoying a surprise boost in Oklahoma, but Clinton
is considered the overwhelming favorite to triumph elsewhere.
the Republicans, Trump has a convincing lead nationally. The CNN/ORC
poll, concluded February 27, shows him at 49 percent – way ahead of
Rubio at 16 and Cruz at 15 percent. An aggregation of poll results by
Real Clear Politics shows Trump with a 15 percentage point lead
nationwide, ahead of Cruz and Rubio. The two other candidates still
in the race, Ohio Governor John Kasich and neurosurgeon Ben Carson,
are polling in single digits.
Real Clear Politics aggregate polling for GOP candidates, February
27, 2016 / RT
the past is any clue
is difficult to try and predict the results of this year’s contests
based on previous primaries. There were no Democratic primaries in
2012, for one thing, because Barack Obama was up for re-election as
the 2008 Super Tuesday – also called “Mega”, “Giga” and
even “Tsunami,” since it involved 24 states, Hillary Clinton
carried 834 delegates from 12 states, while Obama got 874 delegates
in 11 states. Though Clinton eventually got slightly more popular
votes, many of her previously pledged superdelegates defected to
Obama, enabling him to lock in the nomination.
2012 Super Tuesday involved ten states, with the GOP establishment
candidate Mitt Romney carrying six of them. Of the four states that
will be involved in this year’s contest, Romney lost in two: in
Oklahoma to Rick Santorum, and in Georgia to the native son New
Gingrich. He won Alaska and Virginia.
had secured enough delegates for a nomination by early May, and
proceeded to lose to Obama by five million votes, 51.1 to 47.2
percent, that November.
will we know?
will generally close by 7:00pm local time – with the exception of
Arkansas, which will close at 7:30pm local time – and the first
results should be available within the hour or so. Most of the
results ought to be known by 10:00pm Eastern (3:00am GMT), with the
exception of Alaska and American Samoa.
and survivors of Super Tuesday have March 15 to look forward to, and
the change of the delegate allocation to winner-take-all. Five big
states will be up for grabs on the 15th: Florida, Illinois, Missouri,
North Carolina and Ohio. Between them, they will account for 691
delegates for the Democrats and 367 for the Republicans.