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The critical Super Tuesday contests to watch for

Mathematically, President Biden or former President Trump can't clinch their party's nomination Tuesday, but here's why Super Tuesday still matters.
The critical Super Tuesday contests to watch for
Posted at 9:34 AM, Mar 04, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 09:35:41-05

Super Tuesday is one of the most important primary days in a presidential election year. And while this year's may feel a bit anticlimactic, here's why it still matters.

Reason No. 1 is delegates. 

On the Republican side, 16 states will cast their votes for who they want to be their presidential nominee. Scripps News and our partners at DDHQ report that 862 state delegates will be up for grabs.  

In some states, former United Nations Ambassador Haley will earn delegates. But in others where it's a winner-take-all, former President Donald Trump is expected to triumph.

SEE MORE: Which states are voting on Super Tuesday?

On the Democratic side, over 1,400 delegates are at stake with President Joe Biden expected to inch closer to making his renomination official. And while things may appear to be lining up for a rematch of the 2020 presidential election, Kyle Kondick from the University of Virginia Center for Politics says there are some other important things to keep an eye out for on Tuesday.

"Most interesting state on Super Tuesday, I would say California," he told Scripps News. "You also have a Senate primary there."

When California Senator Dianne Feinstein passed away last year, the state's governor appointed Laphonza Butler to fill her seat right away. But the senator is not running to keep that role long-term.

Instead, four other people are on the ballot Tuesday to replace her: Democrats Barbara Lee, Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, and Republican Steve Garvey. Under California rules, the top two vote-getters will move on to the general election, regardless of which party they represent.

SEE MORE: As Trump prevails, why is Nikki Haley still in the race?

The next big reason that Super Tuesday matters is it's one step closer to the general election in November. That means if you live in one of the few states that's been identified as a swing state this year, then get ready for the political ads, phone calls and presidential visits to intensify.

Mathematically, President Biden or Trump can't clinch their party's nomination Tuesday. But a poor finish by Haley will certainly make it more difficult for her to stay in the race.

Nonetheless, Haley indicated to Scripps News last week that she doesn't have plans to drop out anytime soon.

"As long as we can keep it competitive, we are going to keep on fighting," she said. "... there were 14 people in this race. I defeated 12 of the fellas. I've got one more to catch up to."


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