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Super Tuesday: What Is It and Where Did It Come From?

More Americans vote on Super Tuesday than any other day before the general election in November.

If you notice a yellow highlight on the page, hover over it for the definition!

Super Tuesday is a big day for presidential primaries. On Super Tuesday, lots of states vote on who will represent a political party in an election. People in each party put their names forward to become their party’s nominee to compete in the presidential election. Since each party can only put one person in the election, they have to narrow the field. To do this, each state holds primaries and caucuses to vote on who should represent the party in the election.

Since 1988, the people who won the primaries and caucuses held on Super Tuesday ended up as the nominee for each political party. There is no day in the primary process with more states joining in. The two states with the largest populations are included: California and Texas. About one third of the nation’s population participates in Super Tuesday.

Other places voting are: Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

Many candidates who don’t do well on Super Tuesday soon drop out of the race.

Because so many different states hold primaries on Super Tuesday, winning shows the candidate is popular across lots of groups and regions.

Since so many places join Super Tuesday, some candidates are stretched too thin and resort to “tarmac campaigning.” This is when they fly to different places around the country but spend only minutes at the airport to give a quick speech before jetting off to the next location. The other criticism is that after Super Tuesday, some states and candidates feel the nomination is set and that their votes won’t matter.

But every vote does matter and as Super Tuesday comes and goes, pay close attention to what voters say about the path they want to America follow.

Sarah Cowgill

National Columnist at and Sarah has been a writer in the political and corporate worlds for over 25 years. As a sought-after speech writer, her clients included CEOs, U.S. Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and even a Vice President. She’s worked as Contributing Editor at Scottsdale Life, a news reporter for the Journal and Courier, and guest opinion political writer for numerous publications nationwide. A born storyteller, Sarah has published a full-length book and is currently finishing a quirky, sarcastic, second novel.

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