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Making Sense of Primaries in the 2020 Election

Updated: Jul 8

The elections are eight months away. With the Nevada Primary on February 22, the voters will head to Super Tuesday on March 3 when fourteen states, as well as Americans living in foreign countries, will vote. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusettes, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.

The primaries of the two parties will culminate in the national convention of each Party. The Democratic Party will hold its meeting on July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Republican Party will hold it from August 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

There will be 4754 Democratic delegates with 4750 votes as eight Democrats Abroad have only half of a vote. Of all the Democratic representatives,  775 will be unpledged delegates who are called superdelegates and who can vote whomsoever they like to vote. They make 16 percent of the total delegates, and they can swing the party election in a tight race. Among the superdelegates are senate and house members of the Party, state governors, Democratic national committee members, and distinguished party leaders. So far, of the superdelegates, 562 are uncommitted. 70 Superdelegates have pledged their support to Joe Biden, 23 to Bloomberg, 23 to Sanders, 21 to Warren, 13 to Buttigieg, and 9 to Klobuchar.

The Republican Party convention will see 2050 delegates to elect its nominee. President Trump is the nominee as several states Republicans have already endorsed him canceling their carcasses and primaries. The Republicans will hold their convention on August 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Traditionally, the Party in the White House holds its conference after the meeting of the opposition.

March 3 might seal the fate of Presidential nominees. The states going to poll on March 3 will elect 212 delegates to 538 electoral college members who choose the President.  The Democratic Party in its primaries will elect 1344 representatives on that day from amongst six contenders. The Republicans have already sealed the deal in favor of Trump.

Eleven more states will hold primaries on March 10 and 17, with 61 percent delegates chosen.  The remaining 39 percent of delegates will come through primaries held between March 18 and June 6. The two big states New York and Pennsylvania, with 49 electoral college votes, will go to the primaries on April 18.

By March 3, the picture should become clear, but if the race is tight, it may go to the convention where uncommitted Superdelegates might play a big role.

So far, Bernie Sanders is in a big lead. Will the Bloomberg money and Biden's attack on his so-called socialism and Buttigieg's concern over his health plan pose a big challenge is yet to be seen.

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© Aslam Abdullah