The importance of Super Tuesday and voting in Colorado



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Democratic election results across fourteen states and one territory compared to the Colorado outcome. Biden won the majority of electoral votes at 36.7% while Sanders won Colorado at 36.1%. Infographic by Madeline Klayer. Source: New York Times


   With the 2020 general election looming, Super Tuesday marked a period when fourteen states held their primary election. The outcome of March 3 has the potential to be a crucial decider of who the final Democratic candidate may be. According to the New York Times, Biden led Super Tuesday with 35% of total votes.

   Many candidates were heavily focused on this day due to how big of a lead they can potentially receive. “A person needs 1,991 delegates to officially become the nominee. By the time Super Tuesday is over, about one-third of those delegates are up for grabs on that day alone,” said Emily Muellenberg, social studies teacher. “So if someone can pull out ahead, they have a very good shot going forward.” 

   This election marks a period where a progressive new law has come into effect for some states, which allows 17-year-olds to vote if they are going to be 18 by the time of the general election. According to Channel 7 News, 24,000 17-year-olds in Colorado will be able to vote this year. Muellenberg said, “I think students should vote because the idea is that if you are going to be able to vote for the president, shouldn’t you have a say in who the final candidates will be?”

   Not only are thousands of teenagers now eligible to vote, but Colorado voter participation is at an all-time high. “Colorado has some of the most friendly voter laws in the country,” said Muellenberg. “We make it about as easy to vote as possible.” According to Fox News, Coloradans are casting their votes in record numbers with over 780,000 votes cast for the Democratic party alone. 

   Mail-in ballots play a key role in the rising number of voters not only in Colorado but throughout the country. “People are busy on weekdays. The way Colorado does it is we can sit at our kitchen tables over the course of a couple of days to research issues, drink a cup of coffee, and make a slower and more thoughtful decision,” said Mullenberg. “They make it almost excuse proof. Colorado wants us to be voting, so they made it really easy.”

   Super Tuesday was also a time to generate excitement and anticipation around the candidates. “I feel like with the candidates this year it’s either you love or hate them. Some of them have pretty reasonable visions, and others are more radical,” said Keeley LaRiviere, senior. Muellenberg agrees that this year’s candidates could be fascinating to follow, who said, “I would argue that every election is hugely important, but you could see a very interesting race with high energy and entertainment.”

   While some say that it is not worth it for a Republican to vote this year, Muellenberg argues that voting has benefits for all political parties. “I think it’s good practice even if you’re Republican. There is no serious challenge to President Trump, but you can still show a level of support. Voting against him as a Republican is a sign of protest, even if it has no effect.”

   In terms of why one should vote, Muellenberg claims that it is the most simple way to participate in government as an American. “Voting is a way to feel empowered, like you actually have a say.”

Madeline Klayer, Online Editor