Super Tuesday 2020


States that had primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3rd 2020

2020 Super Tuesday was essentially the battle royale for democrats seeking the nomination of their party. It began with seven hopefuls and ended with four ended campaigns, two front runners, and one candidate hanging on for dear life. Super Tuesday, which happened on Tuesday March 3rd, is one day in which 14 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia, have their primaries. A primary is an election run by a political party where registered members choose who they want the party to support in an upcoming election. Historically, the outcome of this day will create the shortlists of real contenders for the major parties’ nominations. After Super Tuesday, former vice president Joe Biden is in the lead.

Super Tuesday came about in 1976, beginning with only three states: Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. By the late 80’s it grew to over 20 states participating. This day, historically, has turned the tides of elections and revealed the true front runners in presidential elections. In 1996, GOP front runner and senate majority leader Bob Dole vanquished his competition, and in turn was a no-brainer nominee to face the incumbent Bill Clinton. Although Super Tuesday is usually a decider of which candidate in each party is going to come out on top, more recently it has established a too-close-to-call duel to become the front runner. In 2008, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were neck and neck. Although Obama had more states, Clinton had more delegates. We see this trend continue into this year’s Super Tuesday; Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders each poll very high but have a similar number of delegates. Super Tuesday is an important early sign of who is a strong contender for who will win the party nomination.

While Super Tuesday is a crucial event in the presidential primaries, you’d be surprised how many studentsfuture voters don’t know what Super Tuesday is. Although this event is so important to the outcome of an election, it is not really taught in schools. Mrs. Angeli, a Pennridge High School history teacher, commented on this knowledge disparity stating, “We definitely don’t teach enough”. Even though our state is not involved in Super Tuesday, it is important that future voters are informed on every aspect of the election. The outcome of this series of elections affects all of the states with later primaries, including Pennsylvania, by weeding out candidates that do not have the potential to win enough votes to secure a party nomination. So even though it does not directly involve our state, it does majorly affect who we see on our primary ballot.   

Since this is a reelection year, the republican party did not really participate in Super Tuesday due to the fact that the president is running virtually unopposed in the primaries. The final delegate count from Super Tuesday is Joe Biden leading the pack with 547, Bernie Sanders trailing close behind with 485, and the only other Democrat still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard with just two delegates. We asked students if they believed that Super Tuesday was a significant event, and Sam Ferry said “100%. As we saw with this one, we really narrowed down the candidates, and I feel that it’s a good way to get an understanding of what the people want [in a nominee].” 2020 was a huge Super Tuesday for the Democratic party considering that they started the year with about ten candidates, and now by the beginning of March, are down to three. This portrays the magnitude of Super Tuesday and why it is important for nominees and voters alike. There is still a long way to go before the November elections, but the results of this election give a good indication of what can be expected in the coming year.