Students and faculty speculate on possible Super Tuesday outcomes

As the presidential field narrows after March 3, it’s tough to predict how things will go for the November general election



Political conversation at GBHS involving primaries seems inconclusive.

Bernie Sanders. Joe Biden. Michael Bloomberg. Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar. Tom Steyer. Elizabeth Warren. All are featured in the latest political headlines, and until last weekend, all had been competing for success on Super Tuesday. 

Since 1984, the first Tuesday of March during the election year has been a significant day in the making or breaking of a presidential candidate’s success. 

Super Tuesday is the first multi-state primary election. Primaries were first used as a form of  getting a candidate’s name out there by John Kennedy, who in 1960 ended up campaigning in many states asking for people’s votes. 

After Kennedy’s successful election, in 1969 primaries became essential to a candidate’s success – they changed the game. 

“(Primaries) are kind of a preview warm-up election where the Democrats only vote for Democrats and the Republicans vote for only the Republicans,” Granite Bay High Advanced Placement United States History teacher Brandon Dell’Orto said. 

Super Tuesday usually consists of about a dozen or more states, however this number changes every four years as states attempt to front-load the calendar in order to have their delegate votes be more meaningful.

“It became obvious that if you’re a state that has a primary late in the calendar year, they may have already chosen who the person is before you can vote so you have no say in it, so states started jumping on top of each other to get earlier (dates),” Dell’Orto said. 

Overall, this first multi-state primary – which happened earlier this week on Tuesday – is significant in determining the success of a candidate. 

“(It) really kind of shoots the direction of who’s probably going to get the nomination, a ton of people will probably drop out after Super Tuesday depending on how they do,” AP government teacher Jarrod Westberg said.

In fact, candidates Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer dropped out last weekend after the South Carolina primary. Political pundits suggested Sen. Klobuchar and possibly Sen. Warren were most likely to drop out after Super Tuesday. If and when they do drop out, that would leave former vice president Biden, Sen. Sanders and former New York City mayor Bloomberg still in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Candidates will be campaigning with rallies in states that they infer they might have a good chance of winning – a candidate who is able to appeal to many states on a more national, rather than one on one level, is certain to be more successful. 

“(Pres. Donald) Trump performed very well on Super Tuesday (in 2016), and that kind of made the whole narrative going, ‘Woah, this guy can actually win,’ because remember at the beginning, no one thought that he could get the nomination,” Westberg said. “But then it was like, ‘Woah, he is a major national candidate right now.’”

This year Super Tuesday was more significant for California as the state has been able to jump up in the calendar for its primary election. 

“California used to have (its primary) in June, and by the time it got to us they had already long decided, so this is the first year that California basically has jumped up,” Dell’Orto said, “It’s one of 50 states but it has 55 of the delegates that are going to be in the Electoral College which is like one tenth (of the national total).”

Winning the state of California can serve as a campaign-saving outcome  for a candidate because of the large number of delegates the state offers.

“Proportionally it’s a big big state, so if you can win California, you can afford to lose in lots of other states, so the significance of California is you probably have a pretty humongous backing,” Dell’Orto said. 

Although Super Tuesday might be more significant, caucuses – such as those already held in Iowa and Nevada – also serve as important opportunities for candidates to stand out, put their names out into the public and gain financial support from donors. 

“The caucuses are so important because you get the media attention and all that, then Super Tuesday’s really more of an OK, who’s going to get that number of delegates, who’s really so diverse of a candidate that they can get different states,” Westberg said. 

A national candidate is a candidate who is able to please many diverse groups throughout the country, and national candidates seem to perform better in both caucuses – and especially in the Super Tuesday primary. 

The caucuses are so important because you get the media attention and all that, then Super Tuesday’s really more of an OK, who’s going to get that number of delegates, who’s really so diverse of a candidate that they can get different states,

— Jarrod Westberg

“You have to have national recognition because you have all these different states, western states, eastern states, southern states and all these different ideologies, and now you’ve got to really appeal to the masses,” Westberg said. 

This election season, however, has been one to ponder the predicted results as many of the candidates can appear as national candidates who are constantly going head to head with one another. 

“It’s going to be interesting,” Dell’Orto said. “I would have predicted Joe Biden just a while back, but it’s been interesting seeing how passionate people are for Bernie, the people that really love Pete Buttigieg really love him, Amy Klobuchar is the one that has got a lot of experience, and you know finally she started popping on the screen a little bit.

“I don’t think that you can discount, however, how important the television ads are, when Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are just pouring tens of millions of dollars into the ads, this is the least certain of how it’s going to turn out I’ve ever been in my adult life.”  

As a result of society engaging in all the technological advancement that the 21st century has to offer, the media coverage and political campaign ads, especially those of billionaire candidate Bloomberg, have been everywhere. 

“Although he hasn’t been doing too hot in the debates, I think Michael Bloomberg will gain a lot of support on Super Tuesday,” senior Derrek Wong said. “I think many citizens who aren’t too involved in politics will support him because of his massive media presence lately, even if they aren’t aware of his ideas.”

The Super Tuesday of 2020 might  play out as an important factor in determining the extent to which Bloomberg’s advertisements did or did not contribute to his success, however, many are not sure what to predict for election outcomes as a result of following all the political turmoil that candidates from both wings have been involved in this election season. 

“I’m so up in the air – I think Bernie will do well, I think Biden’s going to do well, the Bloomberg thing with all the money and all the commercials, I think that’s going to tell us everything, if he has put enough money and commercials there to get a serious showing,” Westberg said. “I’m just so up in the air right now, I used to feel good with predictions, but I’m really totally up in the air.”