What To Know: Super Tuesday

March 5, 2024

If it doesn’t end the contest, it pretty much narrows it down so that someone would be the potential nominee within a month or so.

University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy emeritus professor Barbara Norrander on Super Tuesday. Today, 16 states and one U.S. territory will have presidential primary elections or caucuses.

Why do we call it super Tuesday? Super Tuesday is a relatively new political catchphrase – this term became more common in the 1970s/1980s as we started seeing more states hold primary elections on the same day.

Super Tuesday matters because of the number of states voting AND therefore, the number of delegates up for grabs for each candidate.

When you vote for a candidate in your state, your vote will determine how your party’s delegate will vote later at the party convention when a candidate is officially nominated. 

Because of the sheer number of delegates up for grabs … often Super Tuesday is looked at as determining who will win the nomination for each party. That’s not exactly true by the numbers this year​, as the frontrunners for either party will still need to continue past super Tuesday to officially collect the delegates needed to secure a nomination. 

BUT … today really matters – technically and symbolically. 

Read More: Why is Super Tuesday important? Here’s how the vote could shape 2024 elections (CBS News)

A brief history of the Super Tuesday primaries (National Convention Center)

Super Tuesday (Brittanica)

by Jenna Lee,