What You Need to Know About Super Tuesday

What is Super Tuesday?

This year, Super Tuesday falls on March, 3rd. It is a day where 14 states and one US territory hold their primaries and caucuses for the upcoming presidential election. In primaries, party members vote in a state election to indicate their preference for their party’s candidate with the goal of narrowing the field of candidates they want to represent them in the general election.

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Why is Super Tuesday important?

The stakes are high – more delegates to the presidential nominating conventions can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day. There are 1,357 delegates at stake, about a third of all delegates. So far, fewer than 4% of the delegates have been allocated. Super Tuesday will be a strong indicator of the likely democratic nominee.

What are delegates?

Delegates are individuals who represent their state at national party conventions. There is a certain number of delegates at stake in each primary or caucus. The candidate who receives a majority of the party’s delegates wins the nomination, and will eventually face off with with GOP nominee.

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There are two main types of delegates:

  • Pledged or bound delegates must support the candidate they were awarded to through the primary or caucus process.
  • Unpledged delegates or superdelegates can support any presidential candidate they choose.

Pledged delegates are elected or chosen at the state or local level, with the understanding that they will support a particular candidate at the convention. Pledged delegates are not bound to vote for that candidate, thus the candidates are allowed to periodically review the list of delegates and eliminate any of those they feel would not be supportive.

Be sure to read the “Importance of Delegation” by Management Study Guide.


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