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The race for the White House has begun in earnest, and therefore the outcome of the 2020 US election will have an impression round the world. So what stage are we at now and the way does one win the presidency? A slew of Democrats vying for his or her party’s nomination are campaigning and debating over the last year. In the coming months we’ll determine who has won over enough voters to challenge President Donald Trump this November.
Unlike many other countries, in the US, there are only two parties considered by most voters – the Democrats (the liberal, left-of-Centre party) and therefore the Republicans (the conservative, right-of-Centre party).
State governments run primary elections, not the parties, in essentially an equivalent way they run the overall election. State laws determine if these primaries are closed, meaning only those registered thereupon party can vote, or open, where unaffiliated voters also can participate. If a candidate wins a primary , they win either all or a proportion of the state’s delegates, counting on party rules. Those delegates will then vote for them at the party convention, where the presidential nominee is officially named.
A handful of states, like Iowa, have caucuses rather than primaries. Caucuses are travel by the parties in precincts across the state. As they’re not travel by the state governments, caucuses give parties more flexibility in determining the principles , like who can vote. For Democratic caucuses, no ballots are cast, and votes are determined by standing in groups around an area .
Four states voted in February. After Iowa and New Hampshire, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders emerged with the foremost delegates. Then came the Nevada caucus dominated by Sanders but the fourth state to vote, South Carolina, provided a huge win for former Vice-President Joe Biden. This was partly because of his African-American support and therefore the endorsement of the state’s influential black congressman, James Clyburn.
What’s Super Tuesday?
This is the day, 3 March, when the most states and territories hold their primary elections or caucuses. Some of the most populous states, including California and Texas, held their elections on Super Tuesday, For Democrats, about 40% of all delegates are up for grabs, as are 30% for Republicans.
Unlike some countries with legally defined campaign periods – just like the UK and France – US candidates can campaign for as long as they want , so presidential campaigns typically last about 18 months from start to finish.
The popular vote – the sheer number of votes received by each candidate, will don’t have anything to try to to with determining the winner of the three November election . That comes down to the “electoral college” vote. A simple majority of 270 out of the 538 votes available wins the White House. This makes some states vital to candidates, as more populous states have a much bigger number of electoral votes. It is possible to win the favored vote, but lose the electoral vote, as happened to Democrats Gore in 2000 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Super Tuesday is important because it can firmly establish a front-runner. Or, it can splinter a campaign that already appears to have a front-runner based on voting in the earlier states and breathe new life into a foundering campaign. This year, internal divisions within the Democratic Party are making Super Tuesday is even more important than usual. Bernie Sanders was the clear front-runner heading into Saturday’s South Carolina primary, with a slight lead on delegates and a convincing lead in national polls, but Joe Biden’s convincing win there changed everything. Sanders would love a big win on Super Tuesday to put some wind back in his sails. Super Tuesday also will be the primary real test for Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor sat out the first four contests so Super Tuesday is the first time we get a sense of whether the hundreds of millions of dollars he has spent on advertising so far can sway any actual voters as opposed to just polls and pundits.