Super Tuesday Definition

List of States That Vote in Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday Voting
Super Tuesday 2016 is being held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images News

Super Tuesday is the day on which a large number of states, many of them in the South, hold their primaries in the presidential race. Super Tuesday is important because a large number of delegates are at stake and the outcome of the primaries can elevate or end a candidate's chances at winning their party's presidential nomination later in the spring. 

Super Tuesday 2016 was held on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton emerged with the most number of delegates on Super Tuesday 2016, thrusting both toward their eventual nominations at that year's conventions in Cleveland, Ohio, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Twelves states hold primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday. Voters in those states go to the polls about one month after the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus are held

Super Tuesday 2016 was the first presidential primary day under Republican National Committee rules designed to give states that vote later in the year more influence in the nomination process and at the GOP convention in Cleveland, Ohio, in the summer.

Why Super Tuesday Is a Big Deal

The votes that are cast on Super Tuesday determine how many delegates are sent to the Republican and Democratic national conventions to represent their respective candidates for the presidential nominations.

More than a quarter of the Republican Party's delegates are typically up for grabs on Super Tuesday, including in the top prize of 155 delegates in Texas. More than a fifth of the Democratic Party's delegates are up for grabs that day.

In other words, more than 600 of the 2,472 total Republican delegates to the party's national convention are awarded on Super Tuesday.

That's half the amount necessary for the nomination - 1,237 - up for grabs in a single day.

In the Democratic primaries and caucuses, more than 1,00 of the 4,764 Democratic delegates to the party's national convention in Philadelphia are at stake on Super Tuesday. That's nearly half of the 2,383 needed for the nomination.

Super Tuesday Origins

Super Tuesday originated as an attempt by southern states to win greater influence in the Democratic primaries. The first Super Tuesday was held in March 1988. 

Super Tuesday 2016 Delegate Rules

Under the Republican Party's new rules, states that hold their primaries and caucuses on March 1 through March 14 awarded delegates on a proportional basis instead of winner-take-all. That means no candidate can likely win enough delegates to secure the nomination before late-voting states get to hold their primaries. The rule is designed to prevent states from trying to leapfrog each other for influence and attention during the primaries.

List of States Voting on Super Tuesday

The number of states holding primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday 2016 was larger than in the previous presidential-election year, in 2012. Only ten states held primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday in 2012.

 

Here are the states that hold primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday, followed by the number of delegates being awarded to the party conventions:

  • Alabama: 50 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 60 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Alaska: 28 delegates at stake in the Republican caucuses (the 20 delegates at stake in the Democratic caucuses are awarded on March 26, not on Super Tuesday)
  • Arkansas: 40 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 37 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Colorado: 37 delegates at stake in the Republican caucuses, 79 delegates at stake in the Democratic caucuses
  • Georgia: 76 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 116 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Massachusetts: 42 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 116 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Minnesota: 38 delegates at stake in the Republican caucuses, 93 delegates at stake in the Democratic caucuses
  • Oklahoma: 43 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 42 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Tennessee: 58 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 76 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Texas: 155 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 252 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Vermont: 16 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 26 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary
  • Virginia: 49 delegates at stake in the Republican primary, 110 delegates at stake in the Democratic primary