Canadian media is going to be flooded with news about something called ‘Super Tuesday’ today and tomorrow, as the United States heads into the presidential election primaries. America’s electoral process and events leading up to presidential elections are quite different from Canada’s, so here’s a few things you need to know to help you understand Super Tuesday.
1. What is Super Tuesday?
Super Tuesday is the biggest day of the 2016 presidential election primary season. It can determine who will be receiving a nomination for the elections later in the year. Thirteen states and one territory are set to vote at polls and caucuses by 8 p.m. tonight.
Each state handles the process differently; some are states run primaries, and others are caucuses put on by state parties.
2. Who are the candidates for each party?
Democratic candidates are former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
The Republicans have five; businessman Donald Trump, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John super tuesday and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
3. Who and what are delegates?
Voters elect delegates for Republicans and Democrats. The delegates in turn elect each party’s presidential nominees. Delegates can be party activists, supporters of candidates, and political leaders.
There are also superdelegates, who are often high ranking officials. They can include former presidents and vice presidents, members of government and Congress, and even former members of Senate.
4. Where are the elections being held?
There are 13 states and 1 territory voting: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa.
Republicans and Democrats are both holding primaries in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia.
Caucuses are being held by both parties in Colorado and Minnesota. Additionally, the Republican party is holding a caucus in Alaska, and the Democrats in American Samoa.
5. Why is Super Tuesday so important?
Republicans have the opportunity to win almost half of their 1237 delegates needed to get a nomination. Clinton and Sanders have the chances to win about a third of their 800 delegates.