March Madness, and no, we’re not talking about the NBA

Super Tuesday and more, what the month of March means for the primary cycle

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Purple America

Lance Jenson, Student Writer

UNITED STATES- In the US primary elections, March is one of the most decisive months. Candidates have the potential to rack up hundreds of delegates under their belt, especially on the one and only Super Tuesday. 2020 has certainly become an election year of historical importance, with some political analysts’ predictions being turned on their heads as former Vice President Joe Biden finds himself the DNC front-runner.

It has been some time since The GNA Insider was able to provide any updates on 2020 U.S. Presidential Primaries, so presented is a large recapitulation of the month of March.


Super Tuesday – March 3, 2020:

Super Tuesday, a day many use as an example to humorously liken the primary election to sports scores. This election day earns its superb name from its grandiose nature, as it is the first stint in the primary election cycle where multiple states have their votes counted.

The states participating include:

  • Alabama
  • American Samoa (territory)
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Democrats Abroad (organization)
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

The fear of a party split may have faded for the Democrats, as more moderates began to drop out in anticipation of empowering former Vice President Joe Biden. Joe Biden made a massive comeback, dethroning Senator (I-VT) Bernie Sanders, even winning the most states that day. While Sanders won four states, including his home state of Vermont, Colorado, Utah, and California (the jackpot state for any candidate to win delegates in,) he was ultimately overshadowed by Biden winning ten states. The two political veterans received the most delegates, as most of the other popular candidates already suspended their campaign by Super Tuesday. Joe Biden was awarded 652 delegates, placing him in first with a total of 706; meanwhile, Bernie Sanders won 567 delegates, only placing him in second with 627. The only U.S. territory to be won by anyone else was American Samoa, where former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg received 5 of 11 delegates. Since American Samoa is not a state and only a territory, it will not participate in the general election on November 3, 2020.

While Democrats saw a tense race among their own, the GOP sat back and watched the relatively uneventful day pass. Incumbent President Donald Trump won in all 13 states voting that day, as well as American Samoa. To make things easier for Trump, he ran unopposed in Maine and Minnesota, and the Virginia Republican Primary was canceled, citing “overwhelming support for [his] re-election.” These successes raked him in 747 delegates, putting him at 808 overall.


“Super Tuesday II” – March 10, 2020:

Just one week following Super Tuesday came another wave of states participating in the primary cycle. In years past, this massive mid-March voting day has been referred to as “Super Tuesday II,” and what a super Tuesday it can be.

The states participating include:

  • Idaho
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Washington

For Democrats, this follow-up to Super Tuesday essentially locked in Joe Biden’s success. He walked away from the day with five of six participating states under his belt, with North Dakota being the only state to pledge themselves to Senator Sanders. In terms of how many delegates the candidates won, Biden won a whopping 214 delegates – over 60% of the 352 up for grabs – totaling him in at 920 delegates; meanwhile, Sanders pulled in 138, which kept him in second with 765. Sanders would have won Washington; however, his 43 delegates were beaten by a mere 3 with Biden’s 46.

Republicans saw yet another predictable win for the popular incumbent, as he took in all delegates from every state. Running unopposed in North Dakota, Trump was immediately rewarded the state’s delegates. With this string of victories, Donald Trump came out of March 10 with 271 delegates, ending with a total of 1,079.


Northern Marianas – March 14-15, 2020:

A primary which got little attention was in the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The Democratic party held their caucus on March 14, while the Republicans held theirs on March 15.

For Democrats, the Pacific commonwealth has a total of 6 delegates, 4 of which went to Bernie Sanders, with the other 2 going to Joe Biden. This now totaled Bernie at 769, and totaled Biden at 922.

The Republicans have 9 delegates to offer, all of which were awarded to Donald Trump, ending him up with 1,088.

Much like American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands will not be participating in the 2020 U.S. presidential general election.


Three-Way Tumble – March 17, 2020:

For the final set of primaries in March, things often clear up for both parties, as most candidates will either step down and award their delegates to the front-runner, or they will simply be outvoted by others.

The states participating include:

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Illinois

The Democrats saw the distinction of candidates most clearly by this day, as many popular Dems dropped out of the race and chose to endorse Biden. At this point, the only survivors have been Bernie and Biden. Unsurprisingly, the former VP swept all three states, earning 295 delegates. Even though he didn’t win any states, Sanders will won 145 delegates. Ending off March, both candidates saw massive success; Joe Biden came out with 1,217, and Bernard Sanders ended with 914. Of course, these numbers are excluding any pledged delegates from former candidates.

Republicans saw the end of what little competition there was when Donald Trump’s last major opponent within the GOP, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, announced he would be suspending his campaign just the next day. Once again, Trump won all possible votes in the states of Florida and Illinois (Arizona, much like Virginia, did not hold any sort of Republican primary.) This feat earned him 189 delegates, adding up to a total of 1,277.


Stay tuned for more updates on the 2020 Presidential Primary elections.

To stay up to date on delegate counts, click here to view Bloomburg’s delegate tracker.

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