Super Tuesday – What is It?
Super Tuesday 2020 takes place on Tuesday, March 3rd. Fourteen States, the Territory of American Samoa, plus Democrats living abroad have 1,357 Delegates to select on Super Tuesday. Those 14 States represent 40% of the U. S. population.
Among the 14 States are some big Delegate prizes:
- California with 415 Delegates
- Texas with 228 Delegates
- North Carolina with 110 Delegates
- Virginia with 99 Delegates
- Massachusetts with 91 Delegates
How are Delegates Allocated?
Super Tuesday definitely does not follow a winner-take-all approach. In fact, there are three different types of Delegates:
- Unpledged Delegates – Usually party officials, who are free to vote for anyone
- Pledged Delegates – Picked Statewide
- Pledged Delegates – Picked by Congressional Districts
At the State level, candidates compete by popular vote for Delegates. They are allocated proportionately among all candidates, who receive at least 15% of the State popular vote. Fractional Delegates are rounded up to the next highest Delegate.
At the Congressional District level, candidates compete by popular vote for Delegates. They are also allocated proportionately among all candidates, who receive at least 15% of the Congressional District popular vote. Fractional Delegates are rounded up to the next highest Delegate.
If, after rounding, Fractional Delegates add up to more Delegates than a State receives, more complicated tie-breaking rules apply. Tie-breaking rules can vary by State.
Narrowing the Democratic Field
Super Tuesday is narrowing the field. It takes a lot of money to run for president and candidates with less money on hand recognize that they can’t continue absent a lot of money and a lot of popular support.
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar both dropped out of the race prior to Super Tuesday. They are both likely to endorse Former Vice President Joe Biden because of his victory in South Carolina on Saturday.
Going into Super Tuesday, the leading candidates are:
- Sen. Bernie Sanders
- Former Vice President Joe Biden
- Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Sen. Elizabeth Warren while still in the race appears to have little chance of gaining the nomination even at a brokered convention in July.
Super Tuesday – What to Expect?
Most likely, Bernie Sanders will be the Delegate leader after Super Tuesday with wins in California, Colorado, Texas, and Massachusetts. Biden should do well in North Carolina, Alabama, and Minnesota, the latter because of Klobuchar’s endorsement.
Note that Mike Bloomberg and his unprecedented ad budget is a wild card. It’s difficult to estimate how many Delegate he might pick up. If he does well, it will be at Biden’s expense.
Also, Elizabeth Warren seems to be a drag on Bernie Sander’s potential Delegate count. Her strategy seems to be as Bernie Sander’s backup, to gain his Delegates if he falters for any reason.
The bottom line: Bernie Sanders should exit Super Tuesday with a solid lead heading toward the July Democratic Convention.
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