More than one-third of America’s voting population is expected to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday, the biggest primary election so far in 2020.
On March 3, 14 states and American Samoa will hold primaries in 2020’s historic presidential election:
- North Carolina
Also voting are Democrats Abroad, the Democratic political party affiliate for American citizens living outside the U.S.
Georgia has been part of Super Tuesday in the past, but not this year. Early voting, however, started Monday for Georgia’s March 24 primary.
What’s at stake on Super Tuesday
With California and Texas — the two most populous states in the United States —hold their primaries on Super Tuesday, more than one-third of the U.S. population is expected to vote March 3. And this comes immediately after Saturday’s South Carolina primary, which was won by former Vice President Joe Biden after poor showings in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
“It’s a very difficult time, logistically, to try to balance all this,” said Jeff Weaver, an adviser to front-running Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. “Suddenly, now you have contests all across the country, and candidates just have to do the best they can.”
Weaver underscored the stakes for candidates who head into Super Tuesday unprepared to compete, noting that in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s delegate lead coming out of the day’s contests was tough to overcome.
But for much of the field, the Super Tuesday fight isn’t just about racking up delegates — it’s about survival.
“Candidates who just haven’t moved by Super Tuesday — 41% of the delegates are gone. You’re not really going to have a chance at the nomination. Your money’s going to dry up very quickly,” said Jim Messina, a former aide on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns. “You’ll soon after see some of these also-ran candidates out of this race.”
Where are the candidates?
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg was scheduled to be in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina ahead of Super Tuesday.
Sanders was scheduled to swing through North Carolina, Virginia and Massachusetts, while U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren planned to make stops in Texas and Arkansas.
Biden was scheduled to be in Texas on Monday night.
On Sunday, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg ended his presidential campaign. Billionaire Tom Steyer also ended his campaign Saturday, after the South Carolina primary.
On Monday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended her White House bid.
Sanders is hoping for a strong showing in Virginia that could expand his appeal beyond his progressive base to win both the primary and the general election. But weak Virginia results may reinforce fears from many in his own party’s establishment that Sanders will struggle to win over legions of centrists he’ll likely need against President Donald Trump.
“The person who wins Virginia is a person who shows they can really put together a coalition that can beat Trump,” said Terry McAuliffe, a former Virginia governor. McAuliffe said the state’s diverse voter blocs, its mix of rural, urban and suburban areas and its many military and veteran voters make it a “perfect” test for Sanders’ appeal.
Several Democratic candidates have lavished attention on the state, and none more than Bloomberg. He spent more than $2.5 million funding groups that helped the Democrats wrest control of the Virginia General Assembly and spent more than $12 million just on television advertising in the state.
So, who’s going to win?
Sanders has the most support among likely voters in the Democratic primaries in North Carolina and Texas. Sanders and Warren are virtually tied in Massachusetts, according to new polls of the several Super Tuesday states released last week.
The nonpartisan polls were conducted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion.
In North Carolina, Sanders has the support of 23% of likely voters, followed by Bloomberg with the support of 19% of likely voters.
Biden is in third with 16%, followed by Warren at 13%, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was at 3%, and 6% of likely voters are undecided.
Sanders is also in first place in Texas, with the support of 23% of likely voters, followed closely by Biden with 20% and Bloomberg with 18%. Warren has 14%, Gabbard has 4%; and 3% of likely voters are undecided.
In Minnesota, Sanders was leading and was followed by Warren.
Across the pond, British oddsmakers are betting on Sanders to win all but one of the Super Tuesday states.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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