PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Presidential candidates should know where their campaigns stand come Tuesday night.
Fourteen states and the American Samoa host primaries for Super Tuesday. Those states include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
“It’s a big chunk of states which means its a big chuck of delegates, and those are the people who actually decide who the next nominee is going to be,” said Megan Remmel, assistant professor of political science at Bradley University. “So a lot of decisions potentially will be made today.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden, Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) remain in the Democratic race for president.
There are no serious challengers to President Donald Trump on the Republican presidential ballot; though former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld has not dropped out of the race.
There are a few ‘firsts’ taking place this Super Tuesday. Bloomberg will appear on the Democratic presidential ballot for the first time since announcing his campaign. The primaries also come after three candidates, former mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and businessman Tom Steyer, dropped out of the race.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how people who supported those candidates will sort of realign around the remaining candidates,”said Remmel.
Buttigieg and Klobuchar endorsed Biden. Steyer has not yet announced if or who he will endorse for president.
California, Maine, North Carolina and Utah primaries are new to the major voting event — vastly increasing the number of delegates available. Candidates must receive 1,991 delegates to win the Democratic presidential nomination, and Super Tuesday states hold 1,357 delegates.
Tuesday’s outcomes will determine the significance of primaries still to come, like in Illinois on March 17. It is possible, depending on the votes, a candidate could find him or herself in the driver seat ahead of other primaries, and others might be inclined to drop out of the race.
“I think it is also a question of whether or not Elizabeth Warren survives Super Tuesday, if she doesn’t win her home state of Massachusetts,” said Remmel.
However, Remmel believes it is also possible Super Tuesday does not provide a clear leader in the Democratic race despite the night accounting for 34 percent of the party’s delegates.
But what does Super Tuesday mean for other states that follow these primaries, like Illinois?
Remmel says Illinois may be in the same position as California in past years, citing the West Coast state moved up its primary by three months because “by [June] it had no options.”
“By then, all the candidates had dropped out and whoever ended up being the party’s nominee was the choice that they had,” said Remmel. “I think Illinois may or may not be in that position because things are so up in the air, and they may stay up in the air after tonight.”
She says Illinois likely still could make an impact on the next Democratic nomination, unless someone takes a huge lead on Super Tuesday.