Your Guide to Super Tuesday!

Updated (3/3/2016): The results are in! Please visit our NAfME Election Central page for results of Super Tuesday and other election 2016 news!

Happy first day of March, Super Tuesday is finally here! Voters of over a dozen states will be participating in primaries and caucuses for the day.

Participating States

Alabama Minnesota Caucus
Alaska Caucus (Republican) Oklahoma
American Samoa Caucus (Democrat) Tennessee
Arkansas Texas
Colorado Caucus Vermont
Georgia Virginia
Massachusetts Wyoming Caucus (Republican)

When Do Polls Close?

Voting occurs throughout the day for each state, however, closing times occur at different times per state.  All the following times are Eastern:

  • Polls in Alabama, Georgia, Vermont and Virginia close at 7 PM; 
  • Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Tennessee close their polls at 8 PM;
  • Most Texas polls close at 8, but a few in the state’s western region will close an hour later. Arkansas’ polls close at 8:30 PM. Minnesota’s caucuses begin at 8. Alaska’s caucuses close around midnight.

Number of Delegates at Stake?

661 Republicans delegates will be allocated Super Tuesday, while the Democrats will allocate 865 delegates. The current Delegate counts for both parties currently are:

Republicans   Democrats  
Trump 82 Delegates Clinton 90 Delegates
Cruz 17 Delegates Sanders 65 Delegates
Rubio 16 Delegates    
Kasich 6 Delegates    
Carson 4 Delegates    


Under both parties’ rules, no state holding a primary prior to March 15 may conduct a “winner-take-all” allocation of delegates. Delegates on Super Tuesday will be distributed in some way based on the results. Majority of states participating in today’s primaries will conduct a “winner-take-most” allocation structure.

History of Super Tuesday and What This Will Mean for the Candidates

The concept of Super Tuesday first originated in 1988 for two main reasons:

  1. The consolidation of voters
  2. The organization of campaigns

Super Tuesday provides an extreme amount of certainty about a candidate’s position because no other primary day has as many delegates grouped at once. The race also at this point begins to be less local and regional, appearing more in the national spotlight. In 2012, Mitt Romney obtained a commanding lead in delegates, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton finished the day close, each winning a respective amount of states.

Under the new national environment and phase of the campaign, this could be the last time we see Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, as both could face serious losses in today’s results. On the Democratic side, Super Tuesday may be the day where Hillary Clinton gains a substantial lead to solidify her spot as the Democratic nominee. However, if Bernie Sanders performs better than expected throughout the day, we could see the Democratic race continue well into the rest of spring.

Next Up After Super Tuesday?

Kansas will conduct its caucus on Saturday, March 5 for both parties.  Republicans in Kentucky and Maine will also participate in a primary, while Democrats in Nebraska will hit the polls. Maine will also hold a primary on Sunday, March 6 for the Democrats.

Articles to Read:

Super Tuesday: What You Need to Know (CBS News)

Four Super Tuesday Storylines to Watch (NBC News)

Super Tuesday: What is at Stake (ABC News)

Ronny Lau, Legislative Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, March 1, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (