What is Super Tuesday? Everything you need to know about this essential political event.

Nikki Haley at her election night watch party in Charleston, on February 24, 2024. Photo Courtesy of Kulia Nikhinson/AFP via Getty Images.

By Briana Leibowicz Turchiaro

Boston University News Service

As Super Tuesday approaches, many electors remain confused about the significance of this day. Here’s everything you need to know about what Super Tuesday is and what it could mean for this upcoming election. 

What is Super Tuesday?

Super Tuesday is one of the most important days on the political calendar of an election year. This year, Super Tuesday takes place on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. 

Super Tuesday is when most states vote in the United States presidential primary cycle. This year, 15 states are voting. The states are Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

Two essential events occur in a presidential primary cycle. The first is primaries and the second is caucuses. 

Primaries are formal votes that are done to determine who will be the representative of a political party. Caucuses are private events hosted by the political parties. During a caucus, participants debate current issues and vote at the end of the event to see how many delegates each representative has won. 

Each state has to conduct its own primary elections to decide who the representative will be, and Super Tuesday has historically been where most states hold their elections. Each year, the date of the event and the number of states participating changes. 

History of Super Tuesday

Super Tuesday has existed since the 1970s and has historically occurred during February or March of an election year. 

Although the event now celebrates the first big collection of primaries, it started by being the last, according to the National Constitution Center. 

Super Tuesday has always been essential in the electoral process and in deciding the representative of the political party. Usually, the representative who wins the most votes in Super Tuesday tends to win the primaries.

Relevance in this upcoming election

Every year, Super Tuesday is vital to how the election year will play out. This year, Super Tuesday will be particularly important for the Republican political party. 

The Republican party has had several candidates throughout the primary cycle: most notably, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis. 

Because of former President Trump’s popularity, the race to become representative was thought to be already won. Most candidates, however, did attempt to delegitimize the former president, especially after Trump refused to participate in the primary debates. 

So far, some candidates such as Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy dropped out on Jan. 21 and Jan. 15 respectively, following the Iowa Caucus. Both candidates recognized the unlikelihood of winning against the former president. 

The candidate currently running against Trump is Nikki Haley, and Super Tuesday will point to whether she can gain enough popularity to surpass Trump. 

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