Money talks and so do polling data and delegate numbers. Super Tuesday is upon us and is one of the critical days of the presidential nominating election season. Why? Simply because Tuesday evenings’ results could shape which candidate still has a shot to continue their road to the Oval Office, and who will be pressured out of the race by their respective parties.
Let’s break it down further.
Primary elections are what essentially dictates who will be the presidential front-runner for each of the two main parties (there are other candidates running FYI – read about them here).
So, what’s at stake? 661 Republican delegates and 865 delegates for Democrats – up for grabs. Democrats also have what are called ‘super-delegates’ that are not necessarily binding to election results:
“The Democratic National Committee includes 712 ‘super-delegates,’ usually elected officials and party leaders, whose votes at the convention are not bound to a candidate based on primary and caucus results.”
How many delegates does one candidate need to become the nominee for each party? Republican hopefuls need a total of 1,237 delegates, while their Democratic counterparts need 2,383.
Twelve states and one U.S. territory are voting today. Both Republican and Democratic primary elections are being held in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Alaska is only holding Republican caucuses while Colorado is only holding Democratic caucuses. U.S. territory, American Samoa, is also holding their nominating contest for Democrats (just for American citizens).
So, what does this all really mean, given the bigger picture?
Well, some of the candidates need to win/lose some key states in order for their presidential bid chances become more concrete or, conversely, to weaken.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders needs to make up for his hefty loss to Hillary Clinton in South Carolina, most notably with the devastatingly low Black voter turnout for Sanders. For Republicans, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio need to win a substantial amount of delegates to have any chance of ousting Trump.
Current delegate numbers (before Super Tuesday results):
Democrats (numbers do not include super-delegates):
Hillary Clinton – 91
Bernie Sanders – 65
Donald Trump – 82
Ted Cruz – 17
Marco Rubio – 16
John Kasich – 6
Ben Carson – 5
Anyways, what’s the bottom line? GO OUT AND VOTE!
While both Democratic and Republican primaries are important, the Republican one is increasingly becoming more worrisome.
Trump winning more delegates only makes it that much harder for a less insane candidate to have a chance of competing (ahem, Rubio). For minorities, none of the front-runner Republicans hold our best interest and with each primary election that garners Trump more delegate votes, comes the hard realization that he has all the more chances to become the GOPs official candidate. Nothing is more astonishing than the realization that an outspoken and openly bigoted candidate is, not only winning, but winning in big numbers. All of which is a testament to the larger sentiment that has plagued American politics post-9/11: anti-Muslim rhetoric.
While a few years ago, the Republican off-shoot known as the Tea Party was leading just headlines in anti-Muslim speech, front and center today are Republican candidates who are leading polls with the same rhetoric. The allowance of the Tea Party to spew such anti-Muslim and anti-Latin@ hate laid the foundational groundwork for Republican presidential candidates to do the same, this time on a larger scale and, amazingly, to more open (read: ignorant) ears.
What does my Muslim-American mind hope for? The less openly racist bigot to win enough delegates so that Trump is triumphed.
Image: US Presidential News