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IPFS News Link • Voting and Elections

The Battleground States: Super Tuesday

• By Susan Milligan and Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder

What Is Super Tuesday and Why Is It Important?

Super Tuesday is the day when the greatest number of states hold their primaries or caucuses.

Super Tuesday is considered the big prize in the presidential nominating process, a big election day that makes expensive and time-consuming demands of candidates, who must appeal to voters from the northeast tip of Maine to the southwest corner of California. Its contests encompass wide swaths of the American electorate, both geographically and demographically, and require candidates to make pitches to such diverse interests as Minnesota farmers, California tech workers and federal employees in Virginia.

Super Tuesday has roots going back to 1984, but became a single-day force in 1988, when Southern states banded together to counter what some had critically dubbed the "Iowa syndrome," whereby a small Midwestern state had what they saw as outsize power as the first nominating contest. If the South couldn't be first, it could be the biggest, the theory was, and candidates would need to spend time there addressing concerns of Southern voters.

The delegate haul also holds the promise of elevating a particular candidate, or forcing one or more out of the race.

While the 2024 election appears likely to be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, Trump's lone major competitor, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, is still in the race.


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