History of Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday – a benchmark date in a presidential election year. 

Today, voters across 15 states and one territory will select their top choice for the party’s presidential nominee. In light of this significant day, let’s dive into the history of Super Tuesday!

Super Tuesday often serves as an important milestone for the U.S. presidential calendar. Falling either in February or March of an election year, Super Tuesday is the day on which the greatest number of states hold their primary elections and caucuses. More delegates to the presidential nominating conventions can be won on Super Tuesday than on any other single day – meaning the outcome can be a major indicator of the likely presidential nominees.

Candidates who perform well can gain enough momentum and delegates to become frontrunners in the election or solidify their lead. Most cycles, the candidates who win the most states on Super Tuesday become nearly unstoppable moving forward towards securing their party’s nomination.

  • Flashback to 2020: President Joe Biden pulled off surprising victories in key Democratic primaries in Southern states as well as Massachusetts and Minnesota. These wins signaled the end of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s bids for presidency – both candidates suspending their campaigns in the days following. Last Super Tuesday made clear the race ahead and the coming showdown between Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Super Tuesday came into prominence during the 1988 election cycle. Then, 21 southern states held their presidential primaries on March 13. Southern Democrats formed a coalition to create a regional primary with the aim to promote and ensure a significant influence over their party’s nomination process. They hoped that by banding together, they could push forward candidates who had more moderate stances that would appeal broadly across their region and enhance their electability at national levels.

Since then, Super Tuesday has evolved into an event encompassing not just southern states but also various regions throughout the country.

No longer confined to one party, Super Tuesday is both symbolic and substantive within American politics. It acts as a barometer and battleground where presidential hopefuls’ political fortunes are tested under intense scrutiny from voters.

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