What is Super Tuesday? What to know about the upcoming primaries

Primaries will be happening in 14 states and American Samoa will have its caucus

On Tuesday, voters in 14 states will go to the polls for primary elections and American Samoa will have its caucus.

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The day, known as Super Tuesday, is when the highest number of states and territories hold primaries. Super Tuesday is typically early in an election year, but is also after the earliest primaries in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

This year, Super Tuesday is on March 3 and aside from American Samoa, the 14 states that will be voting are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.

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People cheer as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a campaign rally in Sioux City, Iowa in January. (AP Photo/John Locher)

This is the first time California will hold its primary elections on Super Tuesday, which means that 30 percent of the delegates awarded will come from the state.

There are 1,357 delegates on the line on March 3. Overall, there are 3,979 available delegates, who will go on to choose a Democrat nominee after all the primaries are done.

The Democratic Party has assigned a certain number of delegates to each state and as the results of primary elections are reported, each state gives their delegates to the candidates based on the votes they earned, according to The Washington Post.

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The candidate with a majority of the delegates will receive the nomination.

By having an earlier primary, states could have more influence on who the nominee will be, according to The Post.

However, even though the highest percentage of delegates is awarded to candidates on Super Tuesday doesn’t mean the race will be over after March 3. There are still other primaries and caucuses that will occur through June.

On June 2, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and Washington, D.C., will have primaries and the U.S. Virgin Islands will have a Democratic caucus on June 6, .

From July 13 through July 16, delegates will gather at the Democratic National Convention to nominate the Democratic candidate, who will go on to challenge incumbent President Trump.

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According to the Constitution Center, the first Super Tuesday was in 1976 with six primaries held on Tuesday, May 25.

The practice of “frontloading” primaries didn’t happen until 1984, when nine states held their primaries on March 13. Even though Walter Mondale lost seven states to Gary Hart, he took Georgia and eventually won the Democratic nomination.

The Super Tuesday practice became a regional issue in 1988 as 21 Southern states held their primaries on the same day in order to influence the election as a region.

Today, however, it’s less about a regional pact and more about states wanted to have the upper hand during elections, The Post reported.

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