Super Tuesday - a key day in the US Presidential elections


09:51 PM

1 min read

What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • How US elections work?
  • What is a Super Tuesday?

Why in news?

  • March 5, 2024, is going to be a Super Tuesday in the ongoing cycle of the US Presidential elections, scheduled for November.
  • On this day, supporters of the Democratic and Republican candidates in 15 states will vote for their preferred party candidate in the presidential race.

How US elections work?

  • Primaries and Caucuses
    • American voters usually have a strong affiliation with either of the two major political parties.
    • As part of the Presidential elections, they first vote in the primary and caucus polls, or in a third setup that is a combination of the two.
    • In some of these, only registered Democrats or Republicans can vote, instead of general voters.
    • In primaries, voters go to polling stations and check the box against the name of their favoured candidate.
      • For example, Republican voters will have Donald Trump and Nikki Haley as their options, since other candidates have dropped out of the race.
    • In comparison, caucuses are lengthier. Voters attend meetings at public places such as school gymnasiums, churches, and community centres, debate candidate preferences and openly raise their hands for their choice of vote.
  • National Conventions of Each Party
    • After the primaries and caucuses are over, a national convention is held in which a party’s nomination for president is formally announced to the public.
    • During the convention, the elected delegates cast their vote for a party candidate and the candidate with the most delegates gets the party’s nomination.
  • Significance of primary or caucus
    • For candidates, winning a primary or caucus means winning the support of the several delegates that are assigned to each state.
      • Delegates are the parties’ members or local supporters of a candidate.
    • At this stage, delegates matter because it is they who later vote to select the party nominee at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions held in the summer.
    • If no candidate gets the majority of a party’s delegates during the primaries and caucuses, convention delegates vote to choose the nominee.
    • Delegates are seen as representing the party’s will, although some have criticised the process for not letting voters directly choose their candidate.

What is a Super Tuesday?

  • Super Tuesday is the day when the largest number of states hold their presidential primaries and caucuses.
  • Those state-level races help candidates from the two major political groups — the Democrats and the Republicans — gather the delegates they need to earn their party’s nods.
    • Based on the result of each contest, party officials known as delegates are awarded to the top candidates.
    • A certain number of delegates is needed to formally appoint the nominee at each party's convention this summer.
  • Delegates ultimately represent their states at a party convention, where they cast votes for the nominee based on the primary and caucus results.

Q1) What is the national convention in the US?

Each party holds a national convention to select a final presidential nominee. State delegates from the primaries and caucuses selected to represent the people will now “endorse” their favorite candidates and the final presidential nominee from each party will be officially announced at the end of the conventions.

Q2) What Are Primary Delegates in US elections?

In US elections, primary delegates are individuals selected to represent their political party in the process of nominating a candidate for the general election. These delegates are chosen by voters in primary elections or caucuses held by each party in various states. Their main role is to attend the party's national convention and cast their votes to officially nominate the party's candidate for the presidency.

Source: All you need to know about ‘Super Tuesday’, a key day in the US Presidential elections | BBC | Al Jazeera