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Super Tuesday Expectations

Fiorella Beccaglia Managing Editor


Super Tuesday is the election day in the presidential primaries when the greatest number of states hold caucuses and primary elections. In the 2020 Presidential Election, Super Tuesday fell on Mar. 3. The date was one of the most consequential days in the Democratic Party, and yielded about one third of the total delegate allocation. These delegates come from the 14 participating states. 

Because Super Tuesday includes so many states, it takes the temperature of the largest range of voters. Unlike some of the earlier states in the nominating contest—Iowa and New Hampshire in particular— these were mostly white, older, and more rural. The 14 states participating in Super Tuesday encompass a much bigger group of demographics. 

The 2020 candidates have all approached their Super Tuesday strategy in different ways. According to political analysts, campaigning in this major election requires an entirely different strategy. Candidates cannot spend all their time in the states that are going to vote, and then when they vote move on to the next state.

Money is another resource that becomes scarce and vital on Super Tuesday. If candidates spend time in one state, ideally, they run advertisements in other states. For instance, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has a really interesting strategy: he did not compete in the four early states (New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa, and South Carolina). Super Tuesday was the first time Bloomberg was on the ballot, and it comes after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertisements nationally, and particularly in the Super Tuesday states. 

The race for the Democratic nomination still lacks clarity, but it narrowed in some way in the days preceding Super Tuesday. Bernie Sanders has seized the lead in the liberal lane, the lead in delegates, and leads in recent national polling.

The competition in the other lane, for a more moderate alternative to Sanders, had been muddled. Biden won in South Carolina, putting him back in contention. And shortly afterwards the candidates dropped out of the race— Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer— with an apparent goal on making sure Democrats unify around a challenger who is not Mr. Sanders.

When the not-Sanders competition was still questionable in later 2019, Mike Bloomberg jumped into the race. His standing in the polls, including among black voters, rose, making his candidacy one more unforeseen aspect of this race. 

Super Tuesday narrows the field for every presidential election, but it is also possible that it does not provide clarity to the field. It is certainly not the end of the nominating contest. There are primaries and caucuses that go all the way into June. What happens in the following days after Super Tuesday, could make or end the race, or it could not. But it seems very likely that Joe Biden will take the win, after winning many of the states already. 

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