The reason tonight is called Super Tuesday is because the major political parties sought a vehicle for early consolidation of support for their respective candidates. Because the delegate selection is metered out over a course of months, the thought was to lump a number of the contests together into one night would provide a solid frontrunner and hence a nominee.
The total Democratic delegates up for consideration are 1034 of the 4,763 delegates or 21.76% of the DNC convention. On the Republican side, there are 689 delegates up for selection out of 2462 or 27.9% of the total RNC delegates.
The individual states have the following delegates to select: Alaska, caucuses R (28), Alabama D (60) R (50), Arkansas, Colorado, caucuses D (79) R (37), Georgia D (116) R (76), Massachusetts D (116) R (42), Minnesota caucuses) D (93) R (38), North Dakota R (28) Oklahoma D (42) R (43), Tennessee D (76) R (58), Texas D (252) R (155), Vermont D (26) R (16), and Virginia D (110) R (49) and Wyoming caucuses R (29). One territory participating is American Samoa D (10) along with Democrats Abroad (17).
The key factors to consider for analyzing tonight’s activity are both turnout and candidate support. In 2008, the last open contest for President, the MN DFL Party saw its high water mark with 214,000 caucus participants, while the Republicans had far less with 62,828. Since 2012, was a reelection year for President Barack Obama (D) turnout at the DFL caucuses dropped and even with a contest on the Republican side turnout was only 47,800.
Meaning the overall number of people who turnout will determine whether or not there is an enthusiasm for a specific candidate. Then size of the turnout measured against the actual candidate support will determine who has a successful evening.
The US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has invested a great deal of time, energy and effort here in MN and our state is ripe for a populist candidate, but it will be determined by the size of the turnout and which pockets of the state show up. Since Sanders is pressing for support from more progressive constituencies, specifically college campuses we will be watching to see if those places show larger than expected participation.
Former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) has a base of support here in the state. In 2008, she lost the straw poll to Obama 66.39% to 32.23%, but that means she does have a foundation to build upon. Her recent successes in NV and SC may bolster here campaign here in MN and result in a victory for her tonight.
Early polling results are favoring US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), but the insurgence of Donald Trump’s campaign could affect the eventual outcome. If Trump mounts a hearty campaign here in MN the numbers will first be reflected in the turnout figures and then later in the percentage he carries.
The MN Secretary of State is providing a tabulation of the statewide caucus results and a breakdown by county. http://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us/ENR/Home/98 This information will show how the state fair in the overall, but isn’t helpful when trying to ascertain the distribution of delegates by congressional district. The Republican Party of MN will have the congressional breakdown on their party website, though the DFL Party will not.