How Super Tuesday became super

By Emiliana Molina

Super Tuesday is the biggest voting day in the 2016 primary presidential election.

Voters in 12 states and one U.S. territory will cast their ballots, giving candidates the highest number of possible delegates in a single day. Democrats have 865 delegates and Republicans have 595, totalling 1,460.

But there’s a catch. Democrats have an additional 150 superdelegates in the Super Tuesday contests. This means the superdelegates are allowed to vote as they please at the national convention this summer.

VIDEO: Super Tuesday explained

With so many southern states voting today, Super Tuesday is also called the “SEC primary.” This refers to the collegiate Southeastern Conference, where many of the schools have prestigious football programs.

Most Super Tuesday states will hold primaries, but a few will hold caucuses. Alaska will caucus for Republicans, American Samoa for the Democrats, and Colorado will caucus for both parties.

The remaining states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia, will host primaries for presidential candidates of both parties.

Photo at top: Secretary Hillary Clinton supporters in Iowa.
(Emiliana Molina/Medill)