March 1 or “Super Tuesday” is upon us. According to pundits, today is also the day likely to cement the Republican and Democratic nominees, if all else put a few of the candidates out of the running. Obviously there is a lot at stake this presidential election, so many Americans will be glued to their TVs and web devices, anticipating what the biggest primary election day will yield.
That said, here are five things you should know going into Super Tuesday:
1. 12 states and one territory hold their primary elections, thus earning the title super. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia are holding primaries for both Republicans and Democrats. Alaska holds its Republican election while Colorado and the territory of American Samoa hold their Democrat elections.
2. More than 600 delegates are up for grabs in the Republican race and more than 800 for the Democrats. With 82 delegates in the bag, Donald Trumps leads the Republican race to grab 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination. Hillary Clinton leads Sen. Bernie Sanders by 545 to 87 delegates with 2,382 needed to decide the win.
3. Clinton’s lead is in large part due to her support from superdelegates, of which she has 455 pledged superdelegates to Sander’s 22.
What is a superdelegate? Superdelegates are unique to the Democratic Party. Unlike normal delegates, superdelegates aren’t tied to vote with their states, meaning the popular vote could go to one candidate and a superdelegate could vote for the other candidate. Superdelegates consists of major elected officials (Senators and Representatives), notable members of the party (i.e. President Obama, Vice President Biden, former President Bill Clinton) and select members of the Democratic National Committee.
4. The general delegates are assigned by proportion of the vote for the Democrats while Republican states assign delegates by both proportion and the winner-take-all method.
5. Delegate-heavy states like Texas are on the watch list this Tuesday. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is expected to squeak by a win in his home state, which would both keep his vitality in the Republican race and slow the momentum of a seemingly unstoppable Trump. If not, pundits predict to hear Cruz’s swan song. And Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is expected to come out on top in his home state but needs to make a strong showing the other states to keep the race close with Clinton.
BMWK, is your state voting today and will you be voting?