Politics and civics

Super Tuesday is wimpy and red

Super Tuesday 2016 looks nothing like 2008 (24 states) or 2000 (16 states). There are only 13 states, and most vote red in presidential contests.

The 2016 SuperTuesday electoral college count is 139 of 540. There is only one big ticket state, Texas (38 electoral votes). The other double-digit states are Georgia (16), Massachusetts (11) and Virginia (13). Of these four, only Virginia could be considered a swing state in November.

March 1 has been dubbed the SEC primary. The shorthand is linked to five states belonging to the Southeastern Conference (college) sports league, best known for football.

Despite the media hype, the event is not that representative. It’s missing more southern states than there are participants: Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

There are 12 southern states with SEC-affiliated universities, but only five voting today. Coupled with the fact that 13 states are participating on March 1, the label stretches the point.

The March 1 Southern coalition is “largely the creation” of two Deep South Secretaries of State: Brian Kemp (GA-R) and John Merrill (AL-R). It’s not the first time southern politicians have colluded to try to counterbalance Iowa and New Hampshire.

In 1988, there were 11 southern states on SuperTuesday: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. The 20 states that made up SuperTuesday accounted for 207 electoral votes, 50% more than 2016.

However, there was no clear winner in the Democratic race in the south. The deep (Civil War) south picked Jesse Jackson (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia) and the mid-south went for Al Gore (Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee). Florida gave the nod to Dukakis.

But every one of them voted for Republican George W. Bush that November.


March 1 SuperTuesday

  • Caucus states playing on March 1:
    Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Wyoming
  • Non-SEC states with primaries playing March 1:
    Colorado, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Vermont, Virginia
  • SEC states with primaries playing March 1:
    Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas
  • SEC states not playing March 1:
    Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina

For the record, Oklahoma is not part of the south, not part of the SEC, and wasn’t a state during the civil war (even though it votes hand-in-glove with the rest of Dixie).

Fun facts to know-and-tell: there are only nine states that have never participated in a SuperTuesday.

Super Tuesday historical data

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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