Watch CBS News

What is Super Tuesday and how does today's voting work?

Breaking down the Super Tuesday vote
Breaking down the Super Tuesday vote 01:42

What is Super Tuesday?

Super Tuesday, on March 5, 2024, is when the largest number of states will be holding presidential primaries or caucuses. Over a third of all the available delegates for both the Republican and Democratic nominations are at stake on Super Tuesday.

President Biden is the leading contender for the Democratic nomination, and he has no substantial primary challenge, while former President Donald Trump is leading former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in the Republican nomination race. 

In two of the Super Tuesday states — Colorado and Maine — Trump was found to have engaged in insurrection related to the post-2020 election period and disqualified from the primary ballot under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that only Congress, not states, can enforce Section 3, meaning votes for Trump in those states will still count.

Trump also faces federal indictments in Washington, D.C., and Florida, as well as state charges in New York and in Georgia. It is not yet clear how many of the cases will go to trial before the presidential election.

On the Democratic side, there are concerns about Mr. Biden's age, his handling of U.S. involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict and voter apathy.

How does Super Tuesday work?

Registered voters in the states holding presidential nominating contests will go to the polls and vote on March 5. Fifteen states are holding GOP contests on Super Tuesday. Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia are holding primaries. Two states, Alaska and Utah, are holding caucuses. 

Eleven of the 15 states are holding GOP primaries that are open to more than just registered Republicans. 

In 2016, Trump won eight of states that are holding nominating contests on Super Tuesday 2024. This year, Trump has won nearly every  GOP presidential nominating contest, having lost only the D.C. Republican primary on Sunday night to Haley

The same states, except Alaska, are also holding Democratic primaries, and American Samoa, a U.S. territory, will also be holding Democratic caucuses. The Iowa Democratic caucuses took place in January entirely by mail in order to comply with the Democratic National Committee's primary calendar, but the results are to be released Tuesday. 

Why is it called Super Tuesday?

It's called Super Tuesday because more delegates are at stake on March 5 than on any other single date during the primary campaign. There are 865 Republican delegates that will be allocated, and the winner of the GOP presidential nomination must collect 1,215 delegates. On Tuesday, Democratic primaries will allocate a total of 1,420 delegates, and 1,968 delegates are needed to win the Democratic nomination. Going into Super Tuesday, here's where the candidates stand. 

Will the Democratic or Republican nomination be decided on Super Tuesday?

According to estimates by Kabir Khanna, CBS News' deputy director of elections and data analytics, March 12 is the earliest date by which Trump could win enough delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

What happens after Super Tuesday?

The campaign continues, with the remaining states continuing to hold primaries over the next several months — here's the calendar.  The final primaries of the campaign will be held on June 4, when Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota all hold Republican and Democratic primaries, and Washington, D.C., holds a Democratic primary.

Is Super Tuesday a holiday?

No, Super Tuesday is not a holiday. But in order to make it more convenient for voters, several of the Super Tuesday states offered mail or early voting before their primaries.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.