Super Tuesday turns tables in presidential election

14 states held primaries on "Super Tuesday" on March 3 // Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.

On Tuesday March 3rd, 2020, members of both the Democratic and Republican parties in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia headed to the polls to vote in their states’ primaries. This event is called Super Tuesday because of the large number of states that get the opportunity to vote on that Tuesday. 

In the recent primaries and caucuses that were held in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Democratic Presidential Candidate and Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders appeared to be the front-runner for the Democratic Party. However, after the South Carolina Primaries which was followed by Super Tuesday, the tables shifted as former United States Vice President Joe Biden is now the leading Democratic presidential candidate. 

Right before Super Tuesday, Democratic candidates Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana dropped out of the race due to low funds and polling numbers. As Buttigieg and Klobuchar were moderate candidates, many are upset that they dropped out due to the presidential candidate field becoming increasingly divided. 

“Although I am sad to see Buttigieg drop out, I know his historic campaign positively impacted millions of people who were wondering if they belong in this divided country. His action of dropping out before Super Tuesday was smart on his part so he could endorse Biden to guarantee he wins the nomination over Sanders. I have no doubt Buttigieg will continue to better the Democratic Party and world politics as a whole,” Livia Mastrone (’20) said. 

After not winning any states on Super Tuesday, both the former Mayor of New York City Mike Bloomberg and Senator of Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the race. Meanwhile, many are unaware that Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race despite the fact that many Americans wish for her to drop out. Gabbard, a former veteran of the National Guard, supports allocating funds to help overthrow ISIS, a terrorist group based in Iraq and Syria, which is a more moderate policy. 

After Bloomberg, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg dropped out of the race, they decided to endorse Biden in order to lower Sanders’ chance of winning the Democratic nomination. Moderate Democrats are concerned that if Sanders scores the nomination, the incumbent United States President, Republican Donald J. Trump, will get re-elected because of Sanders’ far-left and socialist policies. 

“I think that the timing of the candidates dropping out was to prevent Sanders from winning the nomination,” Bennet Ehret (’20) said. 

It is still unknown whether Warren is going to endorse anyone, but many believe that she is going to endorse Sanders as they share many of the same leftist policies. 

According to an article on PBS Newshour, Biden won the states of Massachusetts, Maine, North Carolina, Virginia, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas while Sanders won his home state of Vermont in addition to Colorado, California, and Utah. 

One of the more shocking events that happened on Super Tuesday was not even political, as multiple tornadoes destroyed central Tennessee, including its capital, Nashville. According to an article on PBS Newshour, at least 25 people were killed due to the impact of the tornadoes. Some argue that the tornadoes affected voting ability in Tennessee, while others state that it did not change anything. 

Annie Jacobs, a senior at the University School of Nashville, stated, “it was an odd event for so many people in Nashville because it was such an important day, but we were also grieving. It was difficult because so many people were not as motivated to get out and vote because so many people lost their homes, businesses, and loved ones. Although it was my first time voting, I could tell that the atmosphere was very strange. Everyone there was so appreciative that I was able to vote and it really felt like I made a difference because there were so many people who were unable to vote. This had been the first time since 2010 that Nashville had gone through such a tragedy. I felt even more responsible to vote and I was so lucky I was still able to have the opportunity to vote when many people could not do so.” 

The tornadoes struck in the middle of the night at around 12:00 AM on Tuesday, so few citizens were prepared for the natural disaster. Over 140 homes were destroyed as central Tennessee was struck with multiple tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, the damage in Nashville and Wilson Counties came from F-3 tornadoes. While being middle scale, the fact that multiple came at a time was what caused the intense damage. One twister damaged a ten-mile stretch of Nashville, while another tornado damaged a two-mile stretch in Putnam County, a county 80 miles east of Nashville. The Mayor of Nashville, John Cooper, has already made plans to rebuild the city. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee helped homeowners salvage items that were not destroyed in the tornadoes. United States President Donald Trump visited the areas damaged on Friday, March 6th, and already made plans to give federal aid to help rebuild in Tennessee. 

Contrary to the common belief that Trump is the only Republican running for United States President, there are others. Trump has been running against businessman Rocky De La Fuente, Former Congressman of Illinois Joe Walsh, and Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld. While De La Fuente and Walsh are practically unnoticed and polled at less than 0 percent on Super Tuesday, Bill Weld is polled at nearly 10 percent in his home state of Massachusetts and 10 percent in the state of North Carolina. He also polled with small but significant numbers in Maine, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, California, Texas, and Utah. While Walsh and De La Fuente share similar policy plans to Trump, Weld is a moderate Republican as he is pro-choice, supports Medicaid access, and gun control, but also supports lowering taxes, giving people different healthcare options, and backs corporations in the idea of helping to create jobs and raise the economy. 

As the candidates campaign over the next eight months, the primaries will continue to determine who our 2020 presidential nominees might be.

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