By Franck Felix Gutenberg, US Africa News. Updated 2016-03-07
Super Tuesday is one of the most important days in American politics, the biggest day of the election season as the greatest number of party delegates are chosen to represent their candidate for the November general election to succeed Democrat President Barack Obama.
Republican candidates could secure half their delegates, and Democrats a third. Eleven states cast vote for candidates from either the Republican or Democratic parties or both in a contest seen as make it or break it for the hopefuls. The contests stretched from Vermont in the east to Texas and Georgia in the south. Donald Trump led the Republican field and Hillary Clinton came out ahead in the Democratic race.
In the Democratic race, Clinton, the former secretary of state, won Clinton won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Clinton’s performance was above expectations, and she picked off one of the states, Massachusetts, that Bernie Sanders had been targeting. Hillary Clinton hasn’t clinched the nomination as yet, but won the big delegate prizes of Super Tuesday, and she takes a big step towards becoming the Democratic nominee over her rival.
Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist senator from Vermont, was crushed by Clinton in states with a larger percentage of African-American voters, but he has proven that his political revolution is nationally viable by winning in Colorado and Minnesota. He won four of five states he was targeting: Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont. He thanked cheering supporters in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont, and assailed the Republican frontrunner. Sanders supporters came out of Super Tuesday holding their heads high.
In the Republican race, the frontrunner and businessman Donald Trump did exactly what was expected of him. He appeared virtually unstoppable by winning Virginia Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, and doing exactly what he needs to do to win the Republican nomination, while Rubio’s late victory in the Minnesota caucuses wasn’t enough to rescue his night. He came up short in Virginia, his best hope of scoring a more substantive surprise, and received less than 20 percent of the vote required to win any delegates at all in five states.
Ted Cruz won Oklahoma and his home state of Texas, reinforcing his campaign as the best chance to stop the provocative Trump. He doesn’t have much of a path to the Republican nomination, but he has a more valid reason to remain in the Republican primary than any other Republican candidate as, unlike Rubio, he managed to beat Trump in two Super Tuesday contests.