Clinton and Trump Score Big On Super Tuesday
by Alexander Chen on Thursday, March 10th, 2016
The first big test for presidential hopefuls was on March 1, 2016, otherwise known as Super Tuesday. Democrats and Republicans, hoping to earn as many delegates as possible, fought in 12 states in primaries and caucuses. While less than 30% of both party’s delegates were allocated, according to POLITICO, this competition tested each candidate’s ability to appeal to voters young and old, minorities and majorities. Before the 2016 Super Tuesday’s results are analyzed, let’s take a look at what Super Tuesday is.
According to POLITICO, the concept of a centralized day of voting originated in 1988. Super Tuesday was created to consolidate voters and organize political campaigns. Originally started to help Southern Democrats highlight the electoral significance of their region, Super Tuesday is just like any other primary day. The only difference is that 13 different states hold primaries and caucuses on the same day. For the Republicans, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia all held primaries; Alaska held a caucus. Democrats held primaries in the same states; rather than caucusing in Alaska, Democrats caucused in Colorado.
Each state will reward delegates to candidates under party rules. For Republicans, not all states can do a winner-take-all allocation of delegates; however, how delegates are distributed is under state control. The Democratic Party proportionally awards its delegates to each candidate according to percentage points. The Democratic Party does do something unique however: it allows superdelegates to control a large amount of the delegate count. Superdelegates are delegates who do not have to vote in line with primary results, however they often side with the people’s choice nominee. Controlling 15% of the final nomination process, according to CNN, superdelegates have been a controversial part of the Democratic primaries. These superdelegates will be key in looking at the results of Super Tuesday for the Democrats.
Donald Trump had an unbelievable showing during the Super Tuesday primaries. According to New York Times, winning seven of the 11 states, Donald Trump now has 329 of the needed 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination. Mr. Trump’s performance on Super Tuesday showed that Trump has “effectively become the only candidate who can win the Republican nomination if the party chooses its candidate solely based on delegate votes,” according to Mr. Emmott, history teacher and native legend at Milton Academy.
Ted Cruz won three states, including his own state of Texas. While Cruz now has 231 delegates, Cruz’s weak showing may again show Donald Trump’s overwhelming control of Republican voters.
Marco Rubio seems to have little support, only winning Minnesota by 8% against Cruz. Now Rubio has 110 delegates, 219 delegates behind front-runner Donald Trump. John Kasich again showed his inability to rack up votes on Super Tuesday.
Only coming close in Vermont, trailing Trump by 3%, Kasich was unable to win any states, and his delegate total is now 25. According to Time, Ben Carson dropped out on March 4th with a whopping 8 delegates under his belt. While Carson’s goal may have not been to win the presidency, he “will still continue to be heavily involved in trying to save [America].” Overall, Trump won seven states, Cruz won three states, Rubio won one state, and Kasich is still fighting to win a state. Mr. Emmott suggests a possible future for the GOP stating that we could see “Trump as the Republican candidate and Rubio the candidate of a new third party”; while this may be possible, only time will tell Trump’s future support by future primaries and the Republican National Convention.
Democrats saw Hillary Clinton as the winner of Super Tuesday. Winning seven of the 11 states, Hillary Clinton leads in delegate count. According to the Associated Press, Clinton has 1,058 delegates of 2,383 needed for nomination. On the other hand, Sanders won four of the 11 states, currently having 431 delegates. Although there may be a large gap, Clinton actually only leads by 199 pledged delegates, but has the backing of 471 superdelegates. These superdelegates have played a key part in this year’s primaries. Although Clinton is leading in delegate count, many primaries so far have shown Sanders and Clinton neck in neck in voter count. Unfortunately, one thing has been hurting Sanders in recent primaries: minority voters. Super Tuesday’s results showed Hillary having more support amongst black voters than Sanders. Mr. Emmott sees “Hillary effectively [ending] Bernie’s chances of winning the nomination.” With only 30% of the delegates awarded, time will only tell what the coming race to the Democratic nomination has in store.
On March 1, 2016, 12 states held primaries for the Republican and Democratic nomination. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won Super Tuesday with 7 states each. John Kasich still fights for the win of a single state, and Ben Carson has dropped out. Bernie Sanders still pushes to fight the Democratic establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton. With more than 7 months before the general election, who knows what will happen with the Republican and Democratic Parties.
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