US presidential election 2024: everything you need to know about Super Tuesday

This is the big date in the American primary cycle, a key stage in the process of nominating candidates for the American presidential election

US presidential election 2024: everything you need to know about Super Tuesday

This is the big date in the American primary cycle, a key stage in the process of nominating candidates for the American presidential election. This year, on March 5, fifteen states and one U.S. territory vote at the same time in primaries and caucuses as part of Super Tuesday. During these ballots, nearly a third of the total delegates necessary for a candidate to be nominated at the national convention of each party are designated: 865 of the 2,429 delegates on the Republican side, 1,420 of the 3,936 delegates on the Democratic side.

Traditionally, the results of this day give a more precise image of the future winners of the nomination race. This year, the suspense is not there, Joe Biden and especially Donald Trump crushing the competition in their respective camps.

Super Tuesday this year concerns fifteen states – including two of the most populous, California and Texas – and one territory.

Polls typically close around 7 or 8 p.m. local time, meaning some states will have announced results by the early hours of Wednesday morning. However, some states, such as California, may take several hours to announce their results.

From the outset, it is appropriate to put aside the question of what is at stake among the Democrats: as outgoing president, Joe Biden is naturally a candidate for his succession and his party has lined up behind him. For him, the primaries are just a formality, despite the campaigns of Dean Phillips, 55, a centrist elected from Minnesota to the House of Representatives, and of author and activist Marianne Williamson, 71, who is running as a spiritual leader, progressive in orientation.

To win the Democratic nomination, Joe Biden needs the support of 1,968 delegates. If he doesn't pass this mark on Super Tuesday, he will get close.

“Joe Biden will be invested,” says Marie-Cécile Naves, political scientist, research director at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS). But, according to her, the Michigan primary, marked by tens of thousands of abstentions and blank votes to protest the White House's support for Israel, "sounds like a warning that can give ideas to its competitors, for example example [independent candidate] Robert F. Kennedy Jr.”

At 81, Joe Biden is also the oldest candidate to hold the presidency and to run for office, which worries some of those who voted for him in 2020. In a recent New York Times poll, 61% of his voters thus found him “too old to be effective”.

Donald Trump can hope that March 5 marks the defeat of Nikki Haley, his last rival in the Republican camp. On the eve of Super Tuesday, and at the end of the first ten caucuses and primaries, the former president had 244 delegates out of the 1,215 needed to be officially a candidate. In total, 874 delegates will be distributed on Tuesday – not enough, therefore, for him to already win mathematically but enough to outdistance his competitor for good. His campaign team predicts he will win 773 delegates in the March 5 vote and reach a majority two weeks later.

“Nikki Haley is holding on because she tells herself that if Trump is prevented for one reason or another, she is available,” observes Marie-Cécile Naves. And as long as it is there, Donald Trump himself will be forced to campaign a little and spend funds, while he would like to project himself completely into the duel with Biden. »

Will the former US ambassador to the United Nations be able to stay in the race if Donald Trump further crushes the scores on March 5? She has so far remained evasive. “We’re going to continue through Super Tuesday,” she told reporters in late February. This is as far as I’ve thought about strategy. »

Donad Trump's teams did everything to maximize his favorite status. They encouraged local Republican Party leaders committed to his cause to make the rules governing the allocation of delegates as favorable as possible towards him. The “winner takes all” rule, according to which the person who comes first wins all the delegates, is thus more widespread. In California, for example, if Donald Trump gets more than 50% of the vote, all of the state's 169 delegates will be awarded to him.

Only justice now appears to be a potential threat to Donald Trump in his race for the nomination. The former president has nevertheless so far used each of his appearances before judges as so many platforms allowing him to present himself as a victim. Monday, on the eve of Super Tuesday, the American Supreme Court also decided that he could not be ineligible for the primary in Colorado, a state which had initiated an appeal in this regard because of his role in the attack on Capitol, January 6, 2021.

At the end of the primaries, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be officially invested by their party during traditional high political masses, the conventions. The Republican National Convention will be held July 15-18 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while the Democratic National Convention will be held August 19-22 in Chicago, Illinois. Delegates will also validate the choice of candidate for vice president, usually announced a few days before the convention.