Super Tuesday’s Big Number: 1,344


Empower Wisconsin | March 3,  2020

By Scott Rasmussen, Editor-at-Large for Ballotpedia

A total of 1,344 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be awarded based on today’s voting in the presidential primaries.

Prior to today, votes have been cast only in four smaller states on separate days in February. Today’s contests are on a much larger scale including California, Texas, and a dozen other states (plus American Samoa). When the voting is finished tonight, states holding roughly 40 percent of the U.S. population will have voted and 38 percent of all Democratic pledged delegates will have been selected.

To win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot, a candidate must win a majority of the pledged delegates—a total of 1,991 delegates. If no candidate wins a majority, then 771 so-called superdelegates will vote starting on the second ballot. These delegates consist of party leaders and elected officials. Superdelegates are not formally pledged to any candidate and their participation would mean a brokered convention. The last time that happened was in 1952.

Finally, while today is hailed by political junkies as Super Tuesday, it’s important to remember that it is really the culmination of an ongoing process. Ten states began their voting prior to the Nevada caucuses and three more began voting before the South Carolina primary.

Scott Rasmussen’s Number of the Day,” published each weekday by Ballotpedia, features newsworthy and interesting topics at the intersection of politics, culture, and technology. Through the Daily Tracking Poll, Scott focuses on foundational public attitudes rather than the partisan political obsessions of official Washington.

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