By Larry Levine –
Fourteen states and American Samoa … that’s where Democrats will be voting Tuesday (March 3) to send delegates to their national nominating convention this summer to pick a candidate to take on President Donald Trump in the November General Election.
A total of 1,349 delegates will be decided by the time all the ballots are tallied from Tuesday’s voting. That’s 33.9 percent of the first ballot eligible votes at the convention and 67.75 percent of the votes that would be needed to win on the first ballot.
As of today, no candidate is polling above 33% in any of these states, other than Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is at 51% in his home state of Vermont.
If no one gets a majority on the first ballot at the convention, 771 so-called super delegates will become eligible to vote on subsequent ballots until someone scores a majority. If that happens, Tuesday’s delegates will represent 28.4 percent of the larger total.
The delegate count based on the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary stands at:
Sen. Bernie Sanders – 45
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg – 25
Former Vice-President Joe Biden – 15
Sen. Elizabeth Warren – 8
Sen. Amy Klobuchar – 7
The South Carolina Primary Election schedule tomorrow (Feb. 29) will determine an additional 54 delegates.
The cable TV networks already are salivating over what will happened next Tuesday. So, in advance of that big day, here ‘s a thumbnail look at each of the super Tuesday states. (All polling references below are drawn from the website of RealClear Politics.)
Alabama – 52 delegates – open primary – no current polling available – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 77.8% to 19.2%
Arkansas – 31 delegates – open primary – no recent polling shown – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 66.3% to 29.7%
American Samoa – 10 delegates – caucus – no polling available – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 68.4 to 25.7
California – 416 delegates – semi-closed primary – Sanders polls about 32% with Warren and Biden well back in that order – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 55.83 to 43.22
Colorado – 67 delegates – semi-closed primary – most recent polls show Sanders with a big lead and Warren in second place – caucused in 2016 with Sanders def. Clinton 58.9% to 40.32%
Massachusetts – 91 delegates – semi-closed primary – most recent polls show Sanders at 25% with Warren 8% behind in her home state – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 50.13% to 48.69%
Maine – 24 delegates – closed primary – no recent poll available – in 2016 caucus with 4,500 participating – Sanders def. Clinton 64.29% to 35.5%
Minnesota – 75 delegates – open primary – most recent polling show Klobuchar with a small lead over Sanders in her home state – in 2016 caucuses Sanders def. Clinton 61.64% to 38.36%
North Carolina – 110 delegates – semi-closed primary – most recent polls show Biden with a moderate lead over Sanders – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 54.58% to 40.76%
Oklahoma – 37 delegates – semi-closed primary – most recent poll shows Biden and Bloomberg in a statistical tie with Sanders trailing – in 2016 Sanders def. Clinton 51.87% to 41.52%
Tennessee – 64 delegates – open primary – no recent polling available – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 66.11% to 32.43%
Texas – 228 delegates – open primary – most recent polling shows Sanders with a moderate lead over Biden with Bloomberg next – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 65.21% to 33.17%
Utah – 29 delegates – semi-closed primary – most recent polling shows Sanders with a solid lead over Bloomberg and Warren – in 2016 Sanders def. Clinton 79.3% to 20.25%
Virginia – 99 delegates – open primary – in recent polling Sanders holds a narrowing but comfortable lead over Bloomberg and Biden – in 2016 Clinton def. Sanders 64.9% to 35.19%
Vermont – 16 delegates – open primary – no recent poll in Sanders’ home state – in 2016 Sanders def. Clinton 86.1% to 13.62%
Delegates are awarded on a proportional basis to candidates who receive 15% or more of the votes in district and/or statewide totals.
An open primary is one in which all voters, regardless of party registration, are permitted to vote.
A semi-closed primary is one in which registered Democrats and independents are permitted to vote.
A closed primary is one in which only registered Democrats can vote.
Things to watch:
Will reported efforts by the Republican Party to get Republican voters to vote for Bernie Sanders in open primaries actually materialize?
Will Sanders be able to match his 2016 percentage in any state Tuesday? He has not done so thus far. Part of that can be attributed to a bigger field of candidates. It may also be viewed as indication that loyalty to Sanders is not a great as sometimes perceived.
How will the cable TV talking heads and pundits deal with the slow ballot counting in California?
Will those same talking heads feel compelled to announce winners or apparent winners before they shutdown for the night or will they acknowledge that the final delegate counts will have to wait until all ballot are counted and that could take some time?