The eyes of the nation will be on Tennessee and 13 other states today as they conduct the Super Tuesday presidential primaries. For the Democrats vying to take on President Donald Trump, it has the potential to be just that — super. With 1,357 delegates at stake, a strong showing on Super Tuesday is crucial to any Democratic candidate hoping to move forward in the race for the 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Sixty-four of those delegates are at stake here in Tennessee, not nearly as many as California with 415 or Texas with 228, and fewer than our neighbors in North Carolina with 110 and Virginia with 99, but valuable nonetheless. And that means every vote is valuable. Greene County is heavily Republican, but local Democrats have a chance to help decide the direction of their party with this primary. Do they want the “revolution” promised by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser extent, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, or do they favor the moderate approach embodied by former vice president Joe Biden and businessman Michael Bloomberg?
(Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is technically still in the race, too, although with exactly zero delegates, only she seems to know why.)
That choice between revolution and moderation became starker over the past couple of days as the field narrowed following South Carolina’s primary with businessman Tom Steyer, former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar exiting the race and at least two of them — Buttigieg and Klobuchar — expected to endorse Biden before polls opened today.
Republicans who want to vote in a presidential primary aren’t being left out. In addition to Trump, two challengers appear on the ballot: Joe Walsh, a former congressman from Illinois who dropped out of the race in February, and former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who is still in it, at least on paper (the paper ballot, not that he has a real chance).
No matter your party preference, primaries are a vital part of our system of government, and your participation is what will make this Tuesday super.