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Why is today more important than Super Tuesday for both Republicans and Democrats?

Vishal Manve | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:51 IST

Today is a make-or-break day for Republicans. Reason being Donald Trump's roller-coaster ride towards the much treasured 'Presidential' candidacy via Republican party. If the party has any chance of stopping the bonafide right-wing corporate honcho from derailing its election plans, today is the day to act.

Meanwhile, it will be another test of Hillary Clinton's organisational strength and backing among party loyalists against Bernie Sanders' ability to expand the electorate and win in diverse states for Democrats. Of late, Sanders has been wowing numerous electorate groups while Clinton failed to arouse much attention.

Here's how National Memo explained today's primaries:

States don't win nominations, delegates do. Which is why today could easily be the most important day in the Republican presidential primary thus far: while there were technically more delegates at stake on Super Tuesday than there are today, winner-take-all rules mean candidates have a much better chance of making huge net gains over their opponents in today's contests.

Key points

File Photo

  • The past weekend has been full of protests during Donald Trump's rallies and face-off between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the Democratic town hall. Meanwhile, both Clinton and Sanders have bashed Trump. So, this Tuesday is crucial on numerous fronts.
  • Five states hold their Republican and Democratic primaries on Tuesday: Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

  • Missouri and Illinois use forms of winner-take-most rules that award some delegates to the overall winner and some to the winner in each congressional district. The rules should result in the vast majority of delegates from these states going to whoever wins the statewide popular vote, National Memo states.

  • Florida has 99 delegates and Ohio has 66 delegates. Hence, it is a winner-take-all contest that will significantly alter the presidential race.

  • Ohio Governor John Kasich and Florida Senator Marco Rubio need to win today's Super Tuesday otherwise, they will face intense pressure from the Republican party.

  • 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney will hit the campaign trail alongside Kasich in the run-up to Ohio's primary.

  • "I think we're having a battle to define conservatism in the Republican Party. I do not want the Republican Party or the conservative movement to be defined by what I'm seeing out of Donald Trump campaign," said Marco Rubio.

  • "Despite all this noise that's out there, Donald Trump needs 60 per cent of the delegates from this point forward in order to be the nominee. Ted Cruz, by the way needs 75 per cent of the remaining delegates to be the nominee. That's the real math," Rubio said.

  • "In Florida, we have a man, Marco Rubio, who doesn't even show up to vote in the U.S. Senate. He's a disgrace. He's weak, very weak on illegal immigration, wants to give amnesty to everybody. He's a person that I don't think he could be elected dogcatcher in Florida, frankly," Donald Trump retorted.

Here's what Democrat leader Hillary Clinton said recently:
  • "I'm having foreign leaders ask if they can endorse me and stop Donald Trump," she said. She also reminded the audience that so far in the primary process, she's received more votes than anyone else -- including Trump and Sanders.

  • "In the course of dealing with all of this incoming fire from them, I have developed a pretty thick skin. I am not new to the national arena, and I think whoever goes up against Trump better be ready," Clinton added.

First published: 16 March 2016, 12:43 IST
Vishal Manve @VishalManve12

Vishal Manve handles business and international relations beat for Catch. Previously, he has worked with Scroll.in and Daily News and Analysis and has interned with BBC World News and Gateway House council on global relations. Currently, he is pursuing Law from Government Law College, Mumbai. In his free time, Vishal researches on various aspects of foreign policy, human rights and feminism and looks for people who will share their stories with him.