2016 Super Tuesday Open Thread and Liveblog

Today is Super Tuesday, a day that occurs in the US every four years in which citizens are chosen via lottery to wear a spandex suit of their own design and everyone else has to play along with the fantasy that they are superheroes for 24 hours. Just kidding, it’s a day when a lot of states in the US vote in primary elections, and a lot of confusing rules come into play. People are, essentially, voting for who they’d like to be able to vote for in the real presidential election in November; the process by which this occurs is complicated and technically involves selecting delegates to the individual party’s national convention, where they will weigh in on the candidate to be nominated by that party. Making things more confusing is the fact that the delegate system doesn’t even work the same way across party lines; for the Democratic party, delegates are selected proportionally according to vote percentages, whereas the Republican party uses a combination of different methods of determining number of delegates, including winner-takes-all, winner-takes-some, and proportional voting. You can learn more specifics about what the primaries mean in terms of Democrats and Republicans thanks to those two linked explainers from the Constitution Center.

What does Super Tuesday mean in practical terms? Well, whereas the major primaries thus far, like New Hampshire and South Carolina, have been tests of how well a candidate is supported in individual states (often with very specific demographics, like New Hampshire, which is overwhelmingly white), Super Tuesday offers a better sense of how a candidate is perceived nationally, since so many states are voting at once. For a few candidates on the GOP side who have been flailing along in inspiring defiance of their total lack of support, this might be the last straw. For the rest of us, it will be one more piece in the puzzle of what has so far been a truly bizarre and disorienting election season. States voting today include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia — if you live in one of these states, please, please vote! Republicans in Alaska and Democrats in American Samoa can also caucus today.

This post will be updated throughout the day by Senior Editor Heather and Managing Editor Rachel with new links, poll results, commentary, and probably some emojis.


10:00 am

The polls are open! Unsurprisingly, the best state-by-state analysis of both the GOP and Democratic races come from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight. (Click here for the Republican breakdown. Click here for the Democratic one.)

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Democrats — After her sweeping victory in South Carolina, Hillary is now forecasted to win all of the deep south states that will vote today. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. Bernie will most assuredly dominate his home state of Vermont. The polls are forecasting a tight race between them in Oklahoma and Massachusetts. Colorado and Minnesota are holding caucuses today, and since there’s no entrance poll data for those things, there’s no solid prediction for either state. Demographically, they’re similar to Iowa, where votes for Clinton and Sanders were nearly evenly split.

Republicans — Trump was leading every Super Tuesday primary poll this morning, except for Texas, which was leaning Ted Cruz’s way. The closest GOP primaries today are predicted to be Arkansas (where Cruz and Rubio are still holding on), Georgia (where Cruz, Rubio, and Trump were practically tied just a month ago), and Oklahoma (where Rubio has spent a significant amount of money to hang on to a 20 percent chance of victory). And then there are the caucuses. Alaska is a wild card, no one really knows what’s going on there. Trump, Cruz, and Rubio are likely to split Minnesota’s delegates evenly, pulling down about 13 each.

One of my favorite parts of presidential elections is when candidates queue up and vote for themselves. Democracy!

3:00 pm

Here’s a neat graphic from the NYT that sheds a bit of light on how the delegate breakdown works!

And a few news stories that aren’t directly related to Super Tuesday, but provide context on the candidates:

+ Trump is reported to have ordered Secret Service agents to remove 30 Black students from an event he was holding on their own campus; the students are not reported to have been disrupting the event and say they had no plans to. (This news is especially shocking because Secret Service agents aren’t supposed to serve as a personal police force; they’re only supposed to protect the life of the person they’re guarding from attacks.)

+ A poll finds that Rubio’s supporters are more “racially resentful” than Trump’s.

+ NY Mag writers imagine what a Trump presidency might look like.

5:00 pm

FiveThirtyEight has an explainer on how many Republican delegates are actually at stake today, which is great because it’s confusing!

An NYT piece on the stance the GOP old guard is taking on Trump currently. An excerpt of the first paragraph:

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday forcefully denounced Donald J. Trump’s refusal to distance himself from the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. But Mr. Ryan did not shift from his position that he would support Mr. Trump if he became the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, a perplexing contradiction that reflects the growing anxiety on Capitol Hill over the billionaire businessman’s ascent.

Maybe most alarming is that I’m feeling comforted by the above 26% statistic currently, because it’s lower than it could be!

7:00 pm

Polls in Georgia, Vermont and Virginia are now officially closed and the speculation has given way to actual predictions. According to MSNBC:

Georgia: Hillary Clinton will win. Donald Trump will win.

Vermont: Bernie Sanders will win. Too early to call between Trump and John Kaisch.

Virginia: Hillary Clinton will win. Too early to call between Trump and Marco Rubio.

Meanwhile, NYT reports that Republican business leaders are going to raise money to do whatever they need to do to stop Trump. (A thing Rachel Maddow has been smirking about all afternoon. “They’ll forever be the party that had to buy back the election and tell their voters, ‘Sorry, we don’t trust you and we’re not going to do what you’ve told us what to do.'”)

Aaaaand Donald Trump is the official victor in Georgia primaries. And, yup, Hillary has won in Virginia. So far predictions seem to be panning out, although the gap between Trump and the next Republican candidate so far seems much smaller than people were expecting in several states. We’ll have to wait for real results to see. Hillary has also won in Georgia, with majority support from Black voters.

Bernie Sanders has won Vermont, the state of which he is Senator. Hillary Clinton has won the American Samoa Democratic caucus.

8:00 pm

Polls have now closed in Alabama, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Predictions according to MSNBC (Are you watching MSNBC? The lieutenant governor of Texas was on just now with Chris Matthews in a pub and everyone was heckling him and he was chastising them because his mom had been waiting all day to see him on TV!):

Alabama: Trump is the projected winner. Clinton is the projected winner.

Tennessee: Trump is the projected winner. Clinton is the projected winner.

Massachusetts: Trump is the projected winner. Too close to call between Clinton and Sanders.

Oklahoma: Too close to call in both races.

Also, NBC has now called Vermont for Trump.

Interestingly, Sanders is edging Clinton in Massachusetts. FiveThirtyEight had her at a 90+ percent chance of winning earlier today.

(Also, if you are watching MSNBC, do you think Rachel Maddow is drunk? She is so giggly!)

A timely take from the Washington Post on how Trump took MA. As someone from MA originally (this is Rachel typing) I don’t find it surprising at all — MA has a lot of wealthy white people, and where you have those you’ll almost always have some staunch Republicans who want to vote for other wealthy white people — but I can see how others would find it so.

And FiveThirtyEight on what the heck the deal is in Oklahoma, a historically red state with a white-hot small but determined core of Sanders supporters. (Right now Clinton and Sanders are roughly tied there but Sanders seems optimistic.) If anyone is Oklahoman and wants to weigh in on the general climate we’d love to hear it.

A current estimate of each Republican’s delegate count based on results and exit polls thus far:

Hillary has officially won Arkansas. Massachusetts right now is VERY close between Bernie and Hillary! Interesting! Virginia is looking more and more like Trump territory as more votes come in. Some networks seem to be calling the win for him, although I don’t have it from NYT yet.

Ok, Trump officially has Virginia, I believe, and previous projections were correct: Clinton and Trump have Tennessee. Also, my cat has started making a weird noise like she swallowed a frog, if anyone is interested.

9:00 pm

While Hillary Clinton speaks to a crowd in Miami, predictions come through for the polls that closed at 9:00 pm.

Texas: Clinton is projected to win. Ted Cruz is projected to win.

Also, the AP is projecting that Cruz will win Oklahoma.

Rough, rough, rough night for Marco Rubio. He’s telling a crowd right now that “five days ago, we started telling people that Donald Trump is a con artist!” Um. Maybe something you should have started saying five months ago, buddy.

(Hey, have you ever read this story where a neurologist explains why it’s so unsettling to look at Ted Cruz’s face?)

Bernie has won in Oklahoma! Fascinating.

Clinton is currently ahead in MA, but only by four points! So close! I am getting dangerously low wrt my glass of wine and may need to re-up. While I do that, here are the current standings, just to keep everything straight:

Clinton: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, American Samoa (caucus)
Sanders: Oklahoma, Vermont
Trump: Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Virginia
Cruz: Texas, Oklahoma
As-of-yet-uncertain states, either because their polls aren’t closed or votes haven’t been fully counted: Colorado (Democrats), Minnesota, Alaska (Republicans), Massachusetts (Democrats), Arkansas (Republicans)

10:00 PM

Right now Bernie is the projected winner in Colorado and Clinton is projected in Minnesota and Massachusetts. It’s looking likely to be Trump in Vermont and Arkansas.

Apparently Trump is talking right now — Chris Christie, his new best friend, is with him looking dead behind the eyes. I’m not watching it because honestly, I just cannot tonight! But don’t worry, Twitter is On It.

Cruz is talking also! I am also not watching it because there is probably only one glass of wine left in my box of wine and that is just not going to cut it. Those who are watching report he is “going hard on Planned Parenthood and Jesus.” Sources also suggest “Cruz has officially jumped a rockettes line of sharks.”

And it’s Donald Trump in Arkansas. Clinton has maintained her slim lead in Massachusetts, a race in which I admit to being personally overly invested in as a MA native.

Minnesota is projected to be Rubio and Sanders, so far. Colorado still looks good for Bernie. Minnesota, what is going on in you that Rubio and Sanders are leading in you — especially Rubio, who has struck out so hard tonight otherwise that I almost feel embarrassed for him? Genuinely, I am interested in what the deal is there! Trump is in third in Minnesota with 21% currently, the worst he’s done in any state all night.

It is being said that Massachusetts is going to Clinton! From what I can see, her support is based largely (though not entirely) in the greater Boston metro area, with more Sanders support in Western MA. Trump’s support in MA didn’t seem to vary as much geographically, although there was more support for Kasich in the Concord/Waltham/Acton area.

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 9.51.14 PM

from the NYT

A take from Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight:

Wait, this is a great question? Jim Gilmore has dropped out of the race, y’all. And most people didn’t know he was running even before that. Hold on while I investigate this.

Some are saying it’s because of this — Chelsea did a random drawing to see which GOP candidate would be at the top of the GOP section of the ballot, and Gilmore won, so it seems that a surprisingly large group of Chelsea voters just filled in the bubble at the top, not caring too much what the name was. This still doesn’t answer a question I have about why Gilmore was in the drawing at all since he’s dropped out — maybe there was a cutoff for being included in primaries and he stayed in past it? A small, strange micro-parable about this election season.

11:00 pm

NBC has called Colorado for Bernie.

It appears that Minnesota may be going for Rubio.

12:00 PM (EST)

Well, pals, we’re entering the home stretch. What’s changed? Minnesota has been officially called for Sanders as well as Rubio. Donald Trump won Vermont, despite Kasich looking like he sort of had a shot maybe for a second there. Everyone is tired; my cat started chewing on an extension cord to indicate her displeasure with our shared activity. So what does it all, like, mean?

It seems pretty well agreed upon that this was a good night for Clinton; she took seven states to Sanders’ four, and one of Sanders’ four was the state where he’s been a senator. She has plenty of delegates, had overwhelming support from Black voters and in particular Black women, and seems well on track towards the Dem nomination.

What happened with the GOP? Well, the answers there are up to more interpretation. Although most people are going with “Rubio flopped” as a takeaway from tonight, the fact is that three different GOP candidates won primary states, and so it seems unlikely that there will be a mass exodus out of the race (although I don’t think Kasich will stay in too much longer (although I also didn’t think he would stay in this long, so idk)). It’s likely Cruz and Rubio will march stubbornly on, which may divide the GOP base and preclude there being a clear alternative to Trump within the party. (FiveThirtyEight has a take on this as a prisoner’s dilemma.)

If Rubio had a bad night, does that mean Trump won? He certainly won the most states and delegates, and in terms of delegate numbers is considered “on track” to have enough at this point to be the nominee. There’s some disagreement about whether he “dominated,” though. Nate Cohn at the NYT argues that the night was a pretty solid slam dunk for Trump, evidence that Trump while could be beaten by another GOP candidate, but probably won’t be. He considers Rubio Trump’s most credible opponent, and thinks that if he bombed, Trump’s path is pretty clear.

On the other hand, at FiveThirtyEight, the idea is considered that if multiple candidates are picking up states in primaries, the field is wider open than it might seem; “I don’t know why folks are walking away from tonight with the idea that Trump is somehow dominant. He’s won only 37 percent of the vote, pooling across states. That means he’s ahead but far from being a lock of any sort.”

Nothing about this election has been predictable so far, and so it seems at this point like it would be foolish to make any sweeping predictions based on tonight, but there’s certainly lots to consider! Thanks for being here with us while we breathlessly refreshed.

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1098 articles for us.

169 Comments

  1. Hi Rachel, thank you for this coverage! You’re so good at disentangling complicated news.

    I was voter #100 at my polling place this morning. As she informed me of this, the election judge did a little chair dance. It was hilarious.

  2. Thanks for explaining this, as a Britisher I have been trying to fathom what’s going on across the pond to much confusion…it seems with good reason. All I know is Trump means fart over here and that’s a pretty accurate description of the man.

  3. I can’t believe we are living in a time when Trump is seriously leading. That said, the Republican party is really split on him and most don’t want him, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens if he wins the primary.

  4. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance! I don’t think the person who said that (which is contested, I guess it’s mistakenly attributed to Jefferson) meant it the way I use it now…the way I use it now is, like, just because we elected Obama once, we’re not done, we will always have to fight with our votes and our voices for candidates that, well, aren’t the next Hitler. People, as a whole, can be so wonderful, and also so terrible and stupid. I am so worried about this election.

    I don’t know all the ways we’ll have to step up our actions, especially if Trump is the candidate — I’ve always been too shy to be vocally involved in politics so far — but we’ll have to do something! I know one thing my old landlord and his daughter did when Obama was up for the first time was travel to Nevada (from California) and go door to door making sure people who were already identified as Democrats were registered to vote, and helping them with the process if they weren’t. Is that still a thing?

    People who are more into it than me — what are some concrete things like that we can do?

  5. Thank you for the coverage! Trump leading in all those states is super scary, if unsurprising.

    I have very strong feelings (that include many expletives) about Super Tuesday and the American primary system, but the long and the short of it is this system is broken, all states should have primary voting on the SAME DAY because living in a state that votes later means my vote don’t mean nearly as much as someone who lives in these states, the choice is already decided by the time it gets to me. There are so many issues around voting that I wish were talked about more, this is only one of them, I really hope they reform the entire system while I’m still alive.

    • The whole primary thing is horrible and makes no sense. Why does it take forever for us to chose candidates? I wish we were more like Great Britain or France, their elections take about two months! Our whole process is so exhausting 🙁

    • The problem with having a national primary on the same day is that it advantages well-known, well-funded candidates who can afford to have a national operation right away. It doesn’t allow for someone to start from behind and pick up steam. (Like, if you don’t have a ton of money or name recognition you can do a ton of stuff in Iowa and get well known and have a chance. But you can’t do that across the whole country.)

      BUT obvi our current system sucks and caucuses are absurd and Iowa is a terrible state to start with. (And in general the clout rural voters have over urban ones is absurd.)

      I heard someone suggest a Brooklyn primary – similar number of people to Iowa but way more concentrated which would make it much cheaper to campaign and better for unknown/less funded candidates. Plus, like, actual racial diversity.

  6. Voted at 7:00 this morning. Texas has open primaries, and I briefly considered a proposal I read yesterday suggesting that liberals should vote for Rubio to draw delegates away from Drumpf, but nah. Spent the rest of the morning harassing people to vote via social media. Will be refreshing this page, obvs.

    • If I remember correctly you have to be born on American soil to become president of the US.
      So Trump disqualifies because he’s not even from this planet.
      He is, actually, according to the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:Presidential Edition” from the planet Obdawup, a small jungle infested celestial object where sentient hair pieces have been living in peaceful symbiosis with humans for millenia.
      That’s also the reason he’s so ignorant of human History.
      So, yes, he is disqualified and all of us will be able to sleep better.

  7. I personally think this is for the better. The two main boo-boo-taboo holy cow sources of affirmative action crippling and devouring democracy and progressivism and turning it into a soiled parody – and the power of money and media lies actually turning on conservativism and doing the same there. About time – left and right were long gone and only corruption was left. Whatever happens can’t harm more than continuation of status quo.

    • Well, back in the thirties of the last century, unemployment and poverty swept through nations.
      People were sick of the way things were going and voted for a new party, something more radical. Someone who promised the end of the depression. Someone who promised to build roads.
      And he did.
      Build roads.
      And then bombs.
      Don’t give power to the crazies, and especially, make sure not to give executive power to them.
      Everyone who votes for Trump bears the responsibility of his actions.

      • well, if everyone was just sitting and voting in the appointees of banking families which post-wwI had decided to asset strip a rather nice, orderly country – the parents of certain genius in US wouldn’t have the New Deal post WWII and gay liberation might not have happened, and there might have been an ongoing streak of ‘financial crises’ coincidentally explaining why things are getting worse ever since 30s.

        That everything happened the way it did, happened because of very clearly identifiable evil – and the idiot farm that is humanity being able to unite and do things for some 40 years without reverting to the rat cage base state.

  8. I like when my home state is called a “deep south” state when in reality u can’t even really buy canned boiled peanuts in Virginia

    You gotta get into North Carolina for that

    And this, boiled peanuts, is the True Test of where the South begins and ends.

    We don’t even have a waffle house in Leesburg!! You gotta drive to WINCHESTER for late night waffles or just slum it in an IHOP

    ANYWAY. I missed the deadline for absentee voting, so now I have to register to vote in Oregon, which is a “vote by mail” state?? WTF? DOES THAT MEAN?

  9. I have to work tonight, and have a half-hour window in which my wife will drive me 10 minutes from work to polling, 10 minutes back, and 10 minutes running through a middle school and hoping everything goes smoothly. This in Minneapolis, where there will probably be a crowd. brb finding a rosary

  10. I keep marveling at the fact that I got to vote for Hillary with my seven year old daughter who was in my belly the last time I voted for HRC.

    Trump is terrifying but I am also warmed by the fact that both my daughters are growing up in this time.-

  11. Trump favored in 7 states, including Oklahoma?? D: That makes my heart hurt.

    I early voted on Friday and had to stand in line for an hour and a half while being told over and over again but the civic center employees that phones were not allowed within 100 feet of the polling location. It was a unpleasant wait.

  12. I have a cousin who voted for Marco Rubio, not because he likes him, but because he wanted to lessen the chances of Donald Trump being elected.

    How does everyone feel about this strategy? Is it a good idea? A wasted vote? I’ve never been as stressed out by an election before. It makes me miss the days of Mitt Romney and John McCain.

    • It’s a waste. I really believe that one of the worst dangers of Donald Trump is that he makes other Republicans look more reasonable, when really the difference is that he speaks overtly rather than through dog whistles.

      I read The Atlantic piece about how liberals should go vote in the Republican primaries and vote for Rubio in order to stop Trump and I’m just not buying it. IIRC, Rubio at least “respects the constitution” and “individual freedoms” – but he’s still against marriage equality and is still anti-choice. Even his immigration policy is similar, check this:

      https://marcorubio.com/issues-2/marco-rubio-immigration-plan-border-security-legal/

      That image of a militarized border seems indistinguishable to me from Trump’s demands for a border fence. Rhetoric matters, but this is a case where I’ll take the overt nastiness over the same position painted with nicer words.

    • Also, don’t forget Romney’s comment about how there are “47 percent of the people who believe they are victims” and just going to vote for Obama no matter what because they’re essentially awful freeloaders, which we only know about because someone happened to record Romney speaking at a private fundraiser. Folks like Romney, McCain, Rubio, etc. believe and say a lot of abhorrent things – they’re just less loud about it and I guess the Republican base has decided they want someone who is loud.

      • Yeah, once again, I don’t actually think Mitt Romney is much better, but just that he was easier to defeat because he wasn’t such a loud mouth braggart appealing to the lowest common denominator. I mean, Trump doesn’t have any actual strategies, he just says slogans that appeal to people who don’t actually think much about politics. A large portion of the country thinks politicians are pretentious and use “double talk” to confuse them. So, whereas they may have found someone like Romney boring and another example of the same ol’, same ol’, they find Trump refreshing and exciting.

        • Ack, sorry, my grumpiness about the “anyone but Trump” trend sort of just bubbled over here.

          I sort of think that Trump’s nonsense will work against him in the general election even though it’s benefiting him in the primaries. And even if it means four years of Trump, the implosion and reformation of the Republican party to finally deal with their crap might not be as bad as continued Republican business as usual.

    • @ferretsummer Oh man. I mean, I guess any vote is better than not voting… but my personal feeling is that strategic voting is never the way to go. Polling and political coverage overall is super flawed, and I feel really uncomfortable with voting taking place in reaction to that! I don’t want people voting out of fear. I’m much more in favor of people expressing their political will directly. By thinking about which leader would be best for the country, and then voting for them.

      • I understand the trepidation about voting strategically, especially when it involves voting for someone you barely prefer over others and leaving your most-preferred candidates in the dust. However, the way that this country’s electoral system is structured (and I’m not talking just about the primaries), means that strategic voting is a very clear byproduct. Wanting to vote for the leader that you think would be best for this country, especially when that person only has marginal support, is a form of a “wasted” vote. That is, if the reason you are voting is to try to actually elect the person you vote for (there are plenty of motivations people have to vote, of course). Yes, voting out of fear or frustration can lead to some odd and (depending on who you ask) unfortunate trends (voters have “punished” incumbents for anything from shark attacks to sports team losses), but voting strategically can be, and often is, the “best” way to use your vote.

        Although there are plenty of sources that are extremely flawed and biased when it comes to political polling and coverage, there are a number that provide the most reasonable and accurate information as we can expect when we have to rely on survey sampling to get some depiction about the general population. As long as you aren’t relying on exit polls or polls from any biased news source, chances are the information you’re getting is within an acceptable range of accuracy.

        Of course, again, the huge caveat here is why you want to vote in the first place and what you get out of voting. If you want to vote as a means to express your political opinion and nothing else, strategic voting probably isn’t for you. However, if your goal is to get someone elected, chances are, you are already engaging in some strategic voting — especially in this system.

    • The problem with this is that people like Rubio think that what you need to do to fight against Trump is to take things farthest to the right and not the other way.

      So you can’t never be sure if what they’re saying is just a political tactic or what they really think. I choose to keep the doubt.

    • Honestly Rubio is very bad too –

      http://www.vox.com/2016/2/20/11067932/rubio-worse-than-trump

      (Not 100% on board with this piece, but I think a lot gets lost in the standard conversation about Rubio, and piece makes sure we don’t forget how awful he is too.)

      Cruz and Rubio are both also so bad that I really can’t get behind Trump=Satan because all three of them would be complete disasters! Bush seems so lovely in comparison, and Reagan seems like a moderate.

      Kasich is so, so far right too, but he at least seems like he cares about people and has some knowledge about policy.

        • I think Cruz might be the worst on repro health issues? Rubio also said he was against rape and incest exceptions.
          (which tbh I think if you think abortion=murder I can’t see how you can support those exceptions but whatever.)
          Kasich is the only one with actual governing experience to be able to implement shitty, violent, damaging laws though.
          Trump with the surprisingly least shitty repro health views of all of them: “I’m pro life but Planned Parenthood does great things.”

  13. Please, please may the polls be wrong, because I’m totally going into “panic mode”. If the polls are right my only hope is the French way (in reference to the FN, because French people may give you local power, but national power? No way in hell).

    In another matter, after much reading I have a kind of clear picture about the electoral system in the US, but one thing that baffles me is why Americans vote on Tuesdays or any working day? The answer: a freaking 1845 law. Amazing. Most countries in the world use Sundays as election days and even if have to work on that day you may have a special leave to exercise your right to vote. It may not seem much, but real Democracy depends on participation and any country should make it easier, not more difficult, for their citizens to get involved.

    • I’m an American citizen and tbh no one has ever explained the electoral college to me in a way that makes sense

      I envision a table of elders, black cloaked, the descendents of powerful families from all over the world, sitting in an ominously lit room along an impressive table

      The Electoral College Has Been Summoned Once More

      • I’m gonna be in trouble for this, but I do consider that Electoral College is totally anti-democratic, as any electoral system that uses indirect voting. I really don’t know many countries that still used that kind of shit and considered themselves an example of Democracy for the rest of the world.

    • In the US you can have special leave to exercise your right to vote, too. (But just try to actually use that right if you feel like you’re going to be in the doghouse at work as a result, just like many laws about jobs and employment)

      The electoral college is Theatre of the Absurd, really. There’s zero good reason that the general election doesn’t have proportionate delegates like the primaries do.

    • I’d rather vote on a Tuesday. Tuesday’s are a business day – weekends are personal. I have a strong emotional opinion on that.

      I would also fully support the US government declaring voting day a national holiday so that people can more easily vote. Unlike other federal holidays though, giving someone who HAS to work another day off instead would defeat the purpose…

      Continuing my musing here. I wonder if it would significantly impact voting if many Americans were going to church Sunday morning, having a coded (or maybe not so coded) sermon on morality, and then head off to vote. Voting on Sundays in America strikes me as a bad idea for that reason. Even though there’s an official separation of church and state, church’s still say things like “Remember, our religion is pro-life and that’s the most important factor when voting for someone” and “We’d like to pray for all of the Americans losing jobs to undocumented immigrants”, which doesn’t violate the church/state separation because they’re not telling you WHO to vote for, endorsing a candidate, or giving a particular campaign money. “Remember to go out today and vote with your conscience!” Done musing.

      • Hmm. Lots of people work on weekends, too — it might speak to our privilege a bit when we assume that weekends are free for people.

        In California, anyone can register for a vote-by-mail (absentee) ballot, which is one way to overcome the time constraints and obstacles around voting on a weekday and/or getting oneself to a polling place. I think absentee ballots should be available to every citizen who prefers it — it’s so much easier, for me, to live with my ballot for a week or two, to take it with me when I talk to folks I trust, to collect all of the information I need before I vote (especially on all the measures and stuff that aren’t as cut and dry as voting for a president).

        • In Georgia (and other states), we have early voting (in addition to mail-in absentee ballots), which I personally prefer to a “day off” for election day. Days off are never days off for everyone (nurses, doctors, retail, tourism, emergency services, heck, even your cable company has someone on the phone line and a plumber is on-call somewhere, etc. At my job the only days we are closed are Christmas and Thanksgiving). Days off can mean figuring out childcare and lost wages and a whole host of issues. Here we’ve had about three weeks before the election to vote 7AM-7PM, including certain Saturdays and Sundays. There’s a variety of places in your county you can pick from (any place in the county as long as you are registered in that county). I voted a week ago on my day off, a Monday. It was great, quick, and easy. We even have early voting for small, local elections.

      • Well, this could be a matter of priorities.

        Personally I don’t have a problem with losing my personal time a few times a year, and that is not even a problem because you don’t really have to vote every year. After all I do considered that the future of my country is a personal matter.

        By the way, I come from a country with a system of compulsory voting and I voted 6 times last year (3 local elections and 3 national elections).

      • I honestly apologize because what I said sounds like I’m giving you a sermon and judging your choices. That was not my intention at all.

        I want to explain why I feel such a passion for voting and democracy. I was born in 1980 and until 1983 my country was under a dictatorship. So, it’s obvious that I’ve been living almost all my life in a democracy, but that was not the case for all the members of my family, my uncle has been a political refugee in France since 1977, no matter the changes that happened since that time, he can’t accept to live in a country that expatriated him and took away his citizenship.

        Since 1983, this has been the longest democratic period in all of our history, and I mean totally democratic: without fraud, with universal votes (the first time women voted was 1947) and without dictatorships. Of course our democracy is not perfect, but I can’t quit, I need to keep trying to make it better, and that’s why I’ve only missed one election in my whole life and I didn’t have a choice, I was in a hospital after a surgery.

        Once again, I’m sorry for the way I approached your comment.

    • Tbh I’m not sure “the French way” is better. Yes the FN doesn’t win “major election” but they won the ideological war: all their ideas and policies, which looked awfully racist and impossible 10 years ago, are now being debated in the parliament and the senate – and put in place by a “leftist” government.

      This is another very real danger. Trump might not win, but Republicans might well adopt his strategies and policies in the future to draw in those who voted for him, drawing in Democrats to position more to the right as well, marking a major, durable shift to the right of the general political landscape.

      • You’re right about France and the FN and it’s one of the saddest things in the world of modern politics. Some people probably would not give it much thought, but it’s totally horrible to see yourself making a choice between a government that decide to betrayed its ideals and another one that could mean the destruction of a society.

        Your other fear it’s one that I shared. Because we seen that happened, not only in the US but also around the world. The number of Trump’s supporters, and if he can even consolidate his numbers more, would be attractive for any candidate. Any decent human being wouldn’t want those people to support you, but we all know that decency has left politics a long time ago.

        At this time, I hope that Hillary Clinton will choose, if she wins, to take her platform a little more to the left, but if I take a looked at her and her past in politics, I can’t even be sure of that, because in the past she decided to take her ideas a little more to the other side.

        The only totally predictable thing now it’s that Republicans will go for farthest to the right, my only doubt at this time is if they will stop a few steps before becoming the new Nazy party or going all the way.

        • But the thing is, if she wins over Sanders, she has ZERO political incentive to take her platform to the left, because aside from a few “fuck the system” Bernie supporters who say they will choose Trump over her, most of the Bernie supporters will end up voting for her. Whereas there are a LOT of Republicans who will not vote for Trump, so she might try to be more conservative to gain their vote…

        • Also I think tbh the only thing that’s protecting the US from the possiblity of Nazism 2.0 is that the intersection between “big federal government” and “fuck the immigrants/muslims/POC” is very very small.

  14. I have to admit that I will be glad to vote for Trump if Sanders loses the nomination. At the core there are a lot of similarities in what they are speaking that resonate with a lot of voters. Specifically, the talk about keeping jobs in America and protecting the middle class. It’s my belief that the Clintons are some of the worst folks to trust regarding LGBT and middle class citizens. I believe the country needs Neo-Roosevelt and Elizabeth Warren wasn’t available.

    • you would “gladly” vote for someone who is an unashamed white supremacist and also doesn’t like gay people?

      this is why i am so confused about the decisions i’m seeing people make this election season: how does siding with a self-proclaimed socialist equal siding with a dude with bad hair? how is that a better choice for any marginalized person in america??? i’d also LOVE an expansion on how he is “Neo-Roosevelt”

    • I think the country needs someone to stand up for the middle class. I don’t like agree with all of his social policies but I’m all for someone that wants to get rid of NAFTA and other free trade agreements that disproportionately hurt American workers. I also feel that we should have limitations on H1B visas for white collar jobs which no one is talking about but Sanders or Trump. I believe his views on the LBGT community is him pandering to the base. I also believe he’ll pick a moderate Supreme Court Justice like Sanders and I think Hillary will sell the opportunity. I just feel she is a wolf in sheeps clothing. For the record my perfect ticket is Sanders and Warren.

        • Don’t get me wrong he has said loads of things that are abhorrent. Nothing will happen to women’s rights without the Supreme Court, the Congress, or Senate making crazy unnecessary changes and I feel the country as a whole doesn’t want to eliminate women’s rights, rights of minorities, or rights of immigrants so I think it is a mute point regardless of what Trump says. Just like I don’t believe Sanders when he says free college for all…it is like promising a new soda machine in the high school cafeteria. What were your thoughts when The Clintons were slandering Obama or taking money from the LGBT and then signing DOMA and DADT and speaking out against the community.

      • “I’m all for someone that wants to get rid of NAFTA and other free trade agreements that disproportionately hurt American workers.”

        And you really think that Trump will change this? Free trade agreements are pushed forward by corporations. When you talk about outsourcing you should really think why a corporation would go abroad, and the answer is: LOWER LABOR COSTS, a by-product of EXPLOITATION. So, a corporation will take jobs to China, Mexico or any other country for a simple reason, lower labor costs, and when that changes, if that ever happens, they just pick up their shit once again and go for another country.

        Of course this way of making business always implies that if you want to protect American workers, you should lower your labor costs, are you willing to have fewer rights as a worker?

        The blame doesn’t belong to other countries and their workers; it belongs to an economic system and a system of ideas where consumers want all the time cheaper and cheapest things without thinking how that happens. Cheaper is the result of exploitation.

        Trump made business this way in the past and now he’s the protector of American workers?

        Trump will just keep you distracted building walls to keep immigrants out, with the internment of muslins and any other minority that he and his supporters considered problematic, creating fear, etc., while not changing a thing about the real problem.

        • Trade agreements aren’t always just about manufactured goods. And folks need to realize if no one in the country has a job no one will be able to have any purchasing power. I’m not begrudging anyone for looking for an opportunity nor did I say anyone should build a wall…that will never happen. But thinking a Clinton is in it for anyone or anything else but themselves is misguided. What about her vote for the PATRIOT Act? Sanders isn’t selling our rights… You guys are missing the picture I’m for Sanders and against Clinton…trump is my “lesser of two evils” based on what I feel is most important for the well being of my family. Which in case I’m asked is two married ladies living in a blue state with a 3 year old son, a Coro, and a dachshund.

          • You think you can count on a rich guy who will say anything to get elected to stick to his word and look out for middle class interests (and manage to work with Congress effectively to get it done) and don’t care that he has said he would try to nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn your marriage rights?

            You describe him as crazy but also somehow find him trustworthy?

            Fascinating.

          • “And folks need to realize if no one in the country has a job no one will be able to have any purchasing power.”

            About purchasing power maybe you should take a look at wealth distribution, because that one is the real problem not just in your country, but all over the world.

          • I trust he is crazy but I trust also at the end that it will be the reason people decide to vote in elections other than presidential elections. People don’t tend to show up for off cycle elections which has allowed our country to have elected leaders with laughable approval ratings. My plan with Trump would be to grin and bear it for two years until the next elections where hopefully people would show up and be entertained by crazy in the process. Clinton would come up,with every excuse in the book to have it be someone else other than her. I think we as a country need someone that is on the “outside”.

          • And I don’t feel that Clinton would fix wealth distribution. Look at the DNC chair trying to gut the work the Consumer Protection Beaureu has done while championing Clinton.

    • You think Donald Trump is better than Clinton on issues regarding LGBT people and the middle class?? For real? Who are you and where do you read your news? Do you even Autostraddle?

      • Yes, actually I do “Autostraddle” and I get my news from multiple news sources in varying forms of media. I was actually a registered Republican for years and haven’t voted for Republican since Bush/Gore when they kept bringing up religion and won’t vote for anyone who does. I think Trump at his core can be entertaining to watch for the chuckle because is that crazy. That being said for me personally I’d rather have crazy than I trust worthy (Clinton) if it came down to it.

          • I think she is part of a broken political establishment that needs to be fixed. I think the republicans are too focused on religion and women and the democrats have done plenty for low income families but nothing for middle class families while allowing corporations to wreak havoc on our society. I’d prefer Elizabeth Warren but sadly she is too smart for this process!

    • So, I’m going to preface this comment by stating that I fully support free speech, and I am also glad that Autostraddle is a community where everyone can express their political opinions, and I think we all need to keep an open mind. I also want to make clear that my comment is not meant to cast judgement on any specific individual.

      Having said that, I’m going to exercise MY freedom of speech to tell you what I think about Trump voters. Again, my objective is to voice my beliefs, not to attack or to stifle anyone’s opinions. I support your right to do the same, as you have done here.

      It honestly makes me sick to my stomach that anyone, especially someone from my own community, would even consider voting for a man who referred to my people as rapists, wants to commit war crimes (http://www.democracynow.org/2016/3/1/donald_trump_wants_to_commit_war), and wants to ban an entire group of people from entering our country.

      I do not know you or what kind of person you are, and it’s none of my business what you believe or how you choose to vote. At the end of the day, what I think of you is absolutely inconsequential. But I stand absolutely horrified and disgusted that anyone could overlook these very serious red flags when considering who should be the leader of our country.

      • Also, I am glad that you would have the luxury to “grin and bear it” through two years of Trump and find it entertaining. I hope you can understand why I find that comment incredibly lacking in empathy to those would be more directly affected by two years of Trump: immigrants, Muslims, refugees, family members of ISIS terrorists who through no fault of their own would serve as collateral damage…. I don’t think they’d find it quite as entertaining.

          • Nah, Rocket Dog has another excellent theory. The Democrats will win the mid-term elections magically and Trump will not use his discretionary powers as President, because you know, he wants the best for the American people.

            I have to go now, I’ve just saw Santa and the Tooth Fairy outside my window.

        • I think Trump is terrible and horribly unqualified. HOWEVER, drone strikes – which all of the candidates support, afaik – do exactly the kind of collateral damage that Trump says he’s okay with. Other politicians dress it up in nice language about how it’s sad, but we have to protect our security, but in the end they make the same decision and support policies with the same outcome. The Amerikka where Muslim folks, immigrants, and refugees are demonized and made more vulnerable to violence isn’t Trump’s America – it’s just the status quo reality of living in an incredibly racist country. This kind of shit happened after 9/11, too, when good ol’ GW was president (and now a bunch of people are looking back at him fondly like they don’t remember what a dickbag he actually was).

    • donald trump has zero experience in government, zero! and no allies in washington. he has no idea what he’s talking about and he’s a bully. america is not an island, we have to get along with other countries. he scams and defrauds people all the time, he’s been sued for racketeering and lost… even if for some truly unfathomable reason you don’t care that he is a racist misogynist, like, this man is not qualified to run a country! JESUS CHRIST

      • The most confused, perplexing, mixed-up, messy, baffling thing about this comment is how you can say that Sanders and Trump are the same, even in their economic platforms (by the way, as far as I know, nobody has any freaking idea about Trump’s plans for the economy). But more importantly, anybody can imagine Sanders saying things like that garbage about immigrants, Muslims and killing entire families? Even die-hard supporters of HRC would never imagine Sanders saying that.

        I really like Sanders, but if HRC is finally the winner, I would take a deep breath, eat my heart out, and vote for her and hope for the best (maybe pray for Elizabeth Warren to finally make a decision), because I know for sure that Trump is not only the worst choice for the US but also for the rest of the world.

  15. I’m wondering how many of the polls will turn out inaccurate because they’re not factoring in people who jump their party affiliation for the primaries to vote strategically. I don’t know the rules for all the Super Tuesday states, but a lot of them have open primaries: Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Minnesota, Georgia, not sure who else.

    It’s possible that some Dems or left-leaning folks who had a primary plan might change their minds and vote Republican today because the LoomingTrump is so horrifying. Likewise, the LoomingTrump might scare some regularly-Republicans enough that they’d vote on the Dem ballot for whichever candidate is least offensive to them.

    (My state has closed primaries but I’ve always wondered what I would do with the option.)

  16. I’m so nervous. Thanks for keeping us informed, though, Rachel and Heather! This day is gonna be a wild one. This whole election season has been wild. I for one can’t wait until it’s over so I can get to the fun stuff like hounding my senator for inaugural ball tickets.

  17. Politics these days is a struggle.

    On the one hand, you think, “dear God, Donald Trump is a bigoted fascist who doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the presidency,” and you pray for a Super Tuesday upset. You listen to Marco Rubio offer his voodoo math about how he can still win the nomination and you find yourself, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, hoping that he’s right.

    And then, on the other hand, you think, “they built this.” This is what eight years of unprecedented obstruction has wrought. This is what happens when you fail to rid your party of the scourge of bigotry. Would Republicans be here right now had they stood up to Trump when he questioned the President’s citizenship? Probably, but they allowed it to persist. They are Victor Frankenstein…and they built this monster. Am I supposed to feel sorry for them?

    Such a quandary…

    • Oh man I feel you, how I feel you ! In 2002 everybody in France voted for their “favourite” instead of the strategic choice and the FN got in on the second voting tour.

      In 2012, I was very very scared and didn’t know what I should do. I ended up voting for the one I really thought could help the country (he was far from perfect and came out as a Putin supporter, oh well). At the second tour, I voted for the “second best” (who was the strategic choice) and he won, thinking he’ll still do a lot of good things (gay marriage etc). And now we stand on the biggest political crisis France has known in a while, that will probably not be fixed until we rip apart the constitution and write up a new one.

      So voting “strategically” is not necessarily the best solution, believe me. Next elections, I’ll pick my favourite, and if they don’t make it to the second tour, I’ll put in a blank vote.

      • I appreciate that in France, the idea of ripping up the constitution and starting a new one is at least feasible. “Been there, done that”, even. American constitution worship, on the other hand, uuugh.

        I don’t know if anyone could have foreseen what a shit-show Hollande’s presidency would become back in 2012. I guess all we can do is be informed and do what feels right with the info we have on hand.

        I was also kind of torn on who to vote for, because overall I think either Bernie or Hillary would do okay as President. But neither is perfect and it was hard to decide which misgivings were more important. I ended up voting for Bernie because I figure Clinton will get the nomination anyway and this way I still show support for someone leaning a bit more to the left.

        If Oklahoma had an open primary I’d have probably preferred to vote for a lesser of evils for the Republican ticket than bother choosing between Sanders and Clinton.

        • As soon as I hit post I realized that last bit might’ve been unclear. I definitely don’t consider any of the Republicans a better choice than Sanders or Clinton, but it would have felt more useful to vote in a primary where I have a clear preference of who I would rather see go forward, even if I’ll just vote against him in November anyway. :p

        • Oh I wasn’t saying Americans should tear their constitution ahah. It’s definitely a very French approach and dates back to the history of how messy our Revolutions were. But the 5th constitution was created after the 2nd world war, to give De Gaulle the power he needed to build France back. Look what it did to Algeria though ! Look what it’s doing now. the President has waaaay too much power.

          I honestly don’t believe in Presidential elections in France anymore. The only thing left to do is resist, resist, resist. And use what privilege we have to help those less fortunate, even when the government passes laughs to outlaw solidarity.

          • I didn’t think you were saying that. I was just saying that sometimes I am a bit jealous the French have the option/history of starting over.

            Of course, I’m also glad that the US one can’t be changed tooo easily, but I do think we are going to need to make some serious changes to move forward and I am tired of those Americans who worship the Constitution like it is the word of God.

            What do you think of French parties using primaries?

          • I don’t know how I feel about the primaries. The PS did one last elections, Valls came in SECOND TO LAST while Montebourg was third, and now look where they both are ?! It took two years for the politics of the Vth republic to turn a democratic choice on its head…

  18. Its a bad idea to vote for Rubio if you’re a liberal. If he were the nominee the election would be a lot closer between him and say Clinton. If the options are Trump and Clinton, she is gonna win by a landslide.

  19. I truly don’t understand why all primaries aren’t held on the same day like

    1.The Iowa Caucus is insane and I don’t get it
    2.By the time the last states hold their primaries, it seems like things are already decided, which probably influences how people in those primaries vote
    3. OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT IS V SLOW AND LUMBERING AND MAKES NO SENSE TO ME
    4. If my current state is a vote by mail state does that mean I don’t get an “I voted” sticker 🙁 🙁 🙁

  20. The republicans did this to themselves. The Southern Strategy (basically sweet talking racists), cuts to education, hatred of science/the general idea of truth, etc… They did it and I’m enjoying watching them self immolate.

    ALSO TRUMP JUST WON MY STATE I FEEL VERY UNSAFE ALL OF A SUDDEN. :((((

  21. Rachel, in addition to the resident rich white people in MA voting for Trump, I am not sure we can discount the dumbasses who are probably voting for Trump because he’s Tom Brady’s buddy and Tom said it would be “awesome” if Trump won. (I live in MA and am only kinda joking about people voting for Trump because Brady said so)

    • I totally agree! I had almost forgotten about this dumb Brady thing. It’s one of the only reasons I’m glad i don’t live at home anymore, so I don’t have to see that talked about constantly.

  22. The whole primary system is completely mind-boggling to me…. how is it fair that different states vote on different days? And that the way delegates are divided differs between republicans and democrats? I thought the Canadian system was broken enough but following the American election is a whole new kind of shit show.

    • I think the idea is supposed to be that the first few states to vote are a cross section of the population at large (so naturally we start with a mostly rural, mostly white state…). In reality, its just a shitshow.

  23. My state is one of the last to vote so I’m just watching the shitshow. My thoughts are:

    1) I thought my home state (MA) was full of nice, reasonable people, but Trump is winning so apparently not.
    2) I slightly prefer Clinton to Sanders, but Sanders fans (and I am in grad school in a very male-dominated, very white field so basically everyone I talk to) are becoming so obnoxious they make me want to vote for Clinton 80 times, at minimum. They all keep implying that Clinton is untrustworthy and I’m only voting for her because she’s a woman and I HAVE POLITICAL OPINIONS THAT DO NOT REVOLVE AROUND MY GENDER. I literally only know three people in real life other than me who are supporting Clinton, and one is them is my mom.

    • Bernie supporters driving people to support Clinton more is such a real thing!

      I donated to Clinton’s campaign every time I saw a bro on FB share an article that denied the fact that misogyny was a problem among Sanders supporters and/or claimed that “Bernie Bros” were invented by the Clinton campaign! (A totally not misogynistic claim – women saying they’re being harassed online are either crazy or part of a vast conspiracy.)

    • I feel the exact same way re: Clinton and Sanders. I would probably like Bernie a lot more if only all the Berniebros would just SHUT UP for like 10 seconds and let me form my own opinions based on what the candidates actually think about the issues.

      I think there are a lot more Clinton supporters out there than it looks like from social media. We’re just afraid to share an opinion because we don’t want to get attacked and harassed just because we’re not “feeling the Bern”.

  24. Guys!! I just got my citizenship late last year, and I’m 20, so this was my first vote, in any election.
    I voted Sanders; but i absolutely adore Clinton, and would love her to win too. (I am a polisci student and I took a bunch of courses that covered certain things she did abroad that I don’t necessarily agree with, but she’s so cool, and has fought for women’s rights for so long)
    Anyway, I’m so scared I voted wrong, I mean.. Clinton is going to win texas anyway, but my vote counts, right? I did the best I could, with all the information I gathered. I hope I did okay.
    I feel so blessed to have this opportunity, and I love having you guys to share this with. I had to spend 30 dollars on a lyft to vote (I live on campus with no car) but I’m so happy I did guys. I’m so happy.
    I know this is meant to be like a political thing, but I almost cried at the polls. I’m almost crying now. I voted. Oh my gosh..
    Okay, I’m done.

  25. Thank you for the summary! I never really understood how primaries work but I think get it now (sort of?)

    I’ve been really tired of the election coverage but somehow reading it from you guys is much more bearable!

  26. Dear America,

    Please don’t let Trump become president. You guys are the last remaining superpower and need an actual leader, not some hate-spewing dude who lives in his self-created universe.

    Sincerely,

    Deeply Concerned Australian

    PS – Rachel, thanks for the updates throughout the Super Tuesday spectacle/shit show

    PPS – When I follow US politics it reiterates my appreciation for our relatively simple (although imperfect) parliamentary system

    • A good friend who is a Republican and busy steeling herself for the possibility of voting for Hillary in November made a joke about Trump winning the primary and me being drunk because of it.

      I was miffed and told her I rarely drink these days THANK YOU VERY MUCH but then after I saw the results (projections, really, because of time zones) I went into the kitchen to make tea and somehow ended up drinking 100 proof rum straight from the bottle. Thanks, Super Tuesday.

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