Thursday, 3 March 2016

Super Tuesday




The 1st of March this year was Super Tuesday, a huge event in the American election calendar. Firstly, Super Tuesday is the day when the most states in America vote for who they want their presidential candidate to be. This was for both the Democrats and the Republicans.

This year the candidates have been hitting the headlines, both nationally and internationally, for their comments and the race they have lead. On the Democrat side is Hillary Clinton, former secretary of state and Bernie Sanders, Senator of Vermont. These two very different candidates have become increasingly popular and have very loyal supporters. Perhaps more well-known is the Republican frontrunners, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Each of them are not the traditional type of candidates we are used to seeing and has led to several concerns from the Republican establishment. Donald Trump has become a regular on the news recently with the businessman making very controversial comments. Ted Cruz could be seen as a more proven outsider than Trump and he is very popular with the tea party members of the GOP. Finally, Marco Rubio is the more establishment candidate and is more popular amongst the well-educated and women.

Super Tuesday had primaries and caucuses in over 11 states with a variety of results. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won 7 states, which may lead to both campaigns gaining momentum as we move forward to more primaries on Saturday and Sunday. Ted Cruz managed to win 3 states, his home state of Texas alongside Oklahoma and Alaska. Rubio won his first state of the presidential campaign taking Minnesota, whilst Sanders took 4 states including his home state of Vermont.

So what does this all really mean? The candidate that has the most votes in a state is declared the victor. Depending on the type of voting system in each state, delegates are awarded to the candidates. All the candidates aim for the most number of delegates and each win adds to this. This is also why second place is important as well as the winner. State wins are vital in order to gain momentum and from there gain as many delegates as possible, a larger win can also lead to a candidate receiving a larger proportion of the delegates as well.

Many people may be asking why Super Tuesday is so vital in the presidential campaign. Super Tuesday is the first multi-state voting day and so by gaining many delegates it leads to more publicity and hopefully more popularity for the later states. With Clinton and Trump coming out on top it is looking more and more likely that these two will win the nomination for their respective party. In the summer Trump was seen as an outside candidate but now it seems quite the opposite, this is causing great concern to many people given his policies and proposals.

What has come out of the primaries has been the characteristics of voters who vote for Trump. Trump seems to be gaining popularity with the evangelicals as well as those with low income and those who are under educated. The majority of men tend to favour Trump whilst Rubio has greater support from women. What Trump has grasped this year has been the anger and disenchantment with the establishment. Being the clear outsider in the eyes of the electorate they see Trump as the candidate who will bring about the change which is needed and clearly speaks his mind. However, when it comes to the candidate who shares the same values as the electorate, Rubio seems to come out on top. The difference between the grassroots and the elites in the Republican Party is huge and Trump has focused on this and been very successful.

From these results many have forecast what the next weeks will bring and from there the winners of the nominations. Having looked at the delegate counts and the states to come it seems as though the democrats will have a tighter race than the republicans. I believe that Hillary will ultimately win the nomination as her lead of super delegates is so large that Bernie Sanders would have to win the majority of the other states in order to be the nominee for the democrats. On the other side it appears as though Donald Trump is winning across a wide range of states and social groups. This makes his future victories quite unpredictable. It is clear that he is not undefeatable as Cruz has managed to win states on several occasions. However, if Trump continues as he has done in the past month I cannot see him not becoming the presidential candidate for the Republican Party.


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