What you need to know for Super Tuesday

Trump and Clinton hold early leads in polls across the country


With Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina in the candidates’ rearview mirrors, presidential hopefuls are setting their sights on March 1, a day commonly referred to as Super Tuesday.

Super Tuesday holds about half the amount of delegates needed for the GOP and about a third for the Democrats.

Now nicknamed the “SEC primary” due to its Southern-heavy primary and caucus totals, Tuesday can be the difference that it takes for a nominee to become clearer in both races.

Bloomberg Politics reports that many states have not been polled in recent weeks so polling data may not reflect the whole picture. For now, here is a breakdown of what to expect on both sides of the race this Tuesday.

Alabama primary

Democrats: 60 delegates, 7 unpledged*

Republicans: 50 delegates

In 2008, Hillary Clinton lost this race by 14 points to President Barack Obama because of the black population in Alabama that made up 51 percent of the electorate that year. This may be good news for Clinton as she won this vote in Nevada by almost 4 to 1 in the 2016 Nevada Caucuses. Both polls conducted this year in Alabama have shown Clinton holding comfortable leads according to political website RealClearPolitics(RCP).

On the GOP side, RCP gives Trump about a 20-point lead over Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, who appear to be deadlocked for the second position. Alabama Republicans decided upon former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in 2012.

Alaska GOP caucus

Republicans: 26 delegates

An Alaskan dispatch poll conducted in January showed Trump leading Cruz by four percentage points. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin recently endorsed Trump for the GOP nomination.

American Samoa Democratic caucus

Democrats: 11 delegates, 5 unpledged

Clinton defeated Obama in this small American territory 163-121 in votes. There is no polling data available for this territory.

Arkansas primary

Democrats: 37 delegates, 5 unpledged

Republicans: 40 delegates

Clinton was the First Lady of Arkansas for almost 12 years so it is no surprise that she leads Sanders by more than 28 points according to RCPaverages. She beat Obama here by 43 points in 2008.

A Talk Business/Hendrix Collegepoll conducted this month showed Cruz leading Trump by four percentage points. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who dropped out of this year’s presidential race after the Iowa caucuses, has been seen at Trump events but has not yet publicly endorsed a candidate. An Opinion Savvy poll conducted in August, Trump held a five-point lead.

Colorado caucus

Democrats: 78 delegates, 12 unpledged

Republicans: 37 delegates

In a Quinnipiac Universitypoll conducted in November, Clinton held a 28-point lead over Sanders. Without much polling data, Colorado will be a tough state to call. Clinton and Sanders will be fighting for the support of the Hispanic community in Colorado, which makes up a fifth of the population. Obama won here by a large margin in 2008.

Republican delegates are free to support any candidate they like for the GOP nomination.

Georgia primary

Democrats: 117 delegates, 15 unpledged

Republicans: 76 delegates

A large amount of the voting population in Georgia is black. If Clinton’s win in Nevada is any evidence, she holds the early advantage in Georgia. Clinton already holds a 38-point advantage according to RCP.

The RCP average of polls on the GOP side for Georgia show Trump leading Cruz by 11 percentage points. Trump has already won the primary in neighboring state South Carolina, so he looks to have the advantage here.

Massachusetts primary

Democrats: 116 delegates, 25 unpledged

Republicans: 42 delegates

Massachusetts borders Sander’s home state of Vermont so he holds a slim advantage. According to RCP, Sanders led Clinton by four points in one poll conducted this year. In 2008, Clinton beat Obama here by 15 percent so this may be a toss-up.

Trump currently holds a 24-point lead according to RCP. The only thing that may swing this lead is the large Christian population in Massachusetts.

Minnesota caucus

Democrats: 93 delegates, 16 unpledged

Republicans: 38 delegates

Clinton holds the support of Minnesota’s governor and its two U.S. senators. In a poll conducted back in January by the Star Tribune/Mason Dixon in Minnesota, Clinton had a 34-point lead. Sanders may bode well here however due to the large white population in the state.

GOP polls in Minnesota have not come to much of a consensus on a candidate. A poll conducted by KSTP/SurveyUSAin November showed Trump to have a 10-point lead over Rubio. But a more recent poll conducted by the Star Tribune/Mason Dixon in January showed Rubio to have a five-point lead over Trump.

Oklahoma primary

Democrats: 42 delegates, 4 unpledged

Republicans: 43 delegates

Clinton has a 14-point lead in this state over Sanders in RCP’s latest polling data. She defeated Obama in 2008 by 24 points. As a state with a largely white population, Sanders should not be projecting defeat just yet.

Trump leads Cruz by more than seven percentage points in an average of polls conducted in the state this year, according to RCP. Oklahoma has a large evangelical population, which may swing the vote in Cruz’s favor, but it has yet to be seen if they will have an impact here. They did not have an impact in South Carolina, where they were expected to.

Tennessee primary

Democrats: 76 delegates, 9 unpledged

Republicans: 58 delegates

Clinton won by 14 points in 2008 and currently holds a 40-point lead over Sanders according to RCP averages.

A Vanderbilt poll of Republicans voters conducted in November showed Trump having a four-point lead over Carson. Tennessee holds a large born-again Christian population, which could swing some votes toward Rubio.

Texas primary

Democrats: 251 delegates, 29 unpledged

Republicans: 155 delegates

Thirty-two percent of the Democratic electorate in 2008 was Hispanic. For the largest single prize in either party on Tuesday, Clinton holds more than a 20-point lead according to RCP. Clinton won Texas by a four-point margin in 2008 over Obama.

Texas is the GOP’s most important state on Super Tuesday. Texas Senator Cruz has a large advantage here with endorsements from former Texas Gov. Rick Perry many state officials, unsurprisingly. Cruz leads Trump by more than nine percentage points according to RCP.

Vermont primary

Democrats: 26 delegates, 10 unpledged

Republicans: 16 delegates

Vermont Senator Sanders currently holds more than a 75-point lead over Clinton. Unfortunately for Sanders, only 26 delegates are up for grabs here.

In a small sampling conducted by Castle University of 151 voters, Trump edged Rubio by 15 votes. This information will probably not tell the full story of who will win the state as Trump won neighboring New Hampshire with ease.

Virginia primary

Democrats: 110 delegates, 15 unpledged

Republicans: 49 delegates

Clinton lost to Obama here in 2008 by nearly 30 percentage points. The good news for Clinton is that her longtime friend and ally Terry McAuliffe is now Virginia’s governor. She currently leads Sanders by 17 points according to RCP. Virginia holds a sizable black voting population, which well help Clinton.

Virginia is considered a swing state to GOP candidates. Trump led Rubio by six points in a Christopher Newport University poll conducted this month. RCPaverages show Trump to have a 10-point lead over Rubio.

* Unpledged delegates or “superdelegates” are higher ranking governmental officials that have the right to decide upon whichever candidate they want in the Democratic National Convention.

On the Republican side, there are numerous individuals that play the role of “superdelegates” in each state. However, because the Republican National Committee changed its rules in 2016, the superdelegates are now obligated to vote for the candidate that their state supported – making them not so super at all.

Evan Schneider is a news desk editor and can be reached at evan.schneider@ubspectrum.com.