Super Tuesday, 2008

Super Tuesday 2008, Super Duper Tuesday, Mega Tuesday, [cite web|url=|title=Mega Tuesday] Giga Tuesday, [cite web|url=|title=News Producers Gird Their Loins For ‘Giga Tuesday’] Tsunami Tuesday, [cite web
author = Chuck Todd
title = Will Tsunami Tuesday be an Afterthought?
publisher = MSNBC
date = 2007-05-10
url =
accessdate = 2008-01-16
] and The Tuesday of Destiny [cite web|url=| ] are names for February 5, 2008, the day on which the largest simultaneous number of state U.S. presidential primary elections in the history of U.S. primaries were held.cite web
last = Greene
first = Richard Allen
title = States jostle for primary power
publisher = BBC News
date = 2007-05-30
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] Twenty-four states and American Samoa¤ held either caucuses or primary elections for one or both parties on this date. [cite web
title = Presidential primary and caucus dates
publisher = Pew Research Center
date = 2007-08-30
work =
pages = 1
format = PDF
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-31
] Furthermore, the week-long Democrats Abroad Global Primary began on this day.

The large number of states that held elections on February 5 could have shortened the period between the first caucus in Iowa, on January 3, 2008, and the de facto selection of a party's nominee to just a few weeks. Super Tuesday 2008 saw 52% of the Democratic and 41% of the Republican delegates awarded by early February 2008. By comparison, only about 1% of nominating convention delegates had been selected by that point in the 2000 election cycle.Citation
last = Mooney
first = Brian C.
date = 2007-08-21
title = Michigan set to send slate of primaries into revision
newspaper = The Boston Globe
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-31
] [Citation
last = Balz
first = Dan
author-link = Dan Balz
date = 2008-01-15
title = Feb. 5 Primaries to Pose A Super Test of Strategy
periodical = The Washington Post
pages = A01
url =
accessdate = 2008-01-22
] It was held approximately one month before Super Tuesday II.

Names and prior election cycles

The name Super Duper Tuesday is a reference to earlier Super Tuesdays, which have always been the date on which the largest number of primaries were held. The term Super Duper Tuesday has been repeatedly re-coined to refer to even more states holding their primaries on this date, with the first recorded usage so far found dating back to 1985. [cite web
last = Barrett
first = Grant
authorlink = Grant Barrett
title = Double-Tongued Dictionary entry for Super-Duper Tuesday
date = 2007-03-29
url =
accessdate = 2008-01-28
] In 2004, Super Tuesday was on March 2.cite web
last = Schneider
first = Bill
authorlink = Bill Schneider (journalist)
title = It could all be over after 'Super Duper Tuesday'
publisher = CNN
date = 2007-02-07
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] In 2004, the equivalent cohort of primaries, on February 3, 2004, was called Mini-Tuesday—only seven states held their primaries on that date.

On June 3, 2007, the name Tsunami Tuesday—conveying the potential of the large number of simultaneous primaries to completely change the political landscape—was mentioned on Meet the Press during a round-table discussion with presidential campaign strategists James Carville, Bob Shrum, Mary Matalin, and Mike Murphy.

Super Tuesday fell on Mardi Gras and the New York Giants victory parade in 2008. Voting was also hampered in several states by a major tornado outbreak that killed 58 people. [ [ Severe weather kills 23 in Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee - ] ]


As of February 2007, eight states planned to hold primary or caucus elections on Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Missouri, New Mexico Democrats, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia Republicans.cite web | coauthors = Robert Yoon, Bill Schneider | title = California primary move creates Super-duper Tuesday | publisher = CNN | date = 2007-03-15 | url = | accessdate = 2007-06-03 ] However to increase their importance in the candidate selection process, several states moved up their contests, which some pundits criticized as being "pure self-interest."

The following states changed their elections to February 5: Alaska,Citation | last = Kapochunas | first = Rachel | publication-date = 2007-05-30 | title = Georgia, Alaska Join February 5 Front-Loading Frenzy | work = Congressional Quarterly | newspaper = The New York Times | url = | accessdate = 2007-06-03 ] Arizona,] cite web | last = Wilson | first = Reid | title = A Calendar In Chaos | work = RealClearPolitics | publisher = Fox News Channel | date = 2007-08-30 | url =,2933,295169,00.html | accessdate = 2008-01-12 | quote = The event, dubbed "Super Duper Tuesday," got more crowded this week when Arizona became the twenty-first state to announce plans to hold their primary that day. ] California, Colorado, Connecticut, [Citation | publication-date = 2007-08-18 | title = Our view: Candidates deserve our attention now | newspaper = Norwich Bulletin | publication-place = Norwich, Connecticut | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-31 ] Georgia, Idaho Democrats, [cite press release | title = Democrats re-elect chairman Stallings, change caucus date | publisher = Idaho Democratic Party | date = 2007-03-05 | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-06 | quote = the state central committee selected February 5, 2008, as the party’s new presidential caucus date ] Illinois,Citation
last = Rick
first = Pearson
publication-date = 2007-06-21
title = Illinois joins crush on Super Duper Tuesday
newspaper = Chicago Tribune
url =,1,2652555.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
accessdate = 2007-06-21
] Kansas Democrats,cite web
title = State-by-state primary and caucus schedule
work = Campaign 2008
publisher = The Boston Globe
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] Massachusetts, [Citation
last = Maguire
first = Ken
publication-date = 2007-11-20
title = Presidential Primary Appears Moving To February
newspaper = The Boston Globe
publication-place = Boston, Massachusetts
volume = 122
issue = 155
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-31
] Minnesota,Citation
last = von Sternberg
first = Bob
publication-date = 2007-07-11
title = GOP moves its caucuses to Super Tuesday 2008 to gain national clout
newspaper = Star Tribune
publication-place = Minneapolis, Minnesota
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-06
] Montana Republicans§,Citation
last = Johnson
first = Charles
publication-date = 2007-12-27
title = GOP Officials Outline How New Caucus Will Work
newspaper = Missoulian
publication-place = Missoula, Montana
url =
accessdate = 2008-01-02
] New Jersey, [Citation
last = Smothers
first = Ronald
publication-date = 2007-02-27
title = New Jersey Moves to Join Early Presidential Primaries
newspaper = The New York Times
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] New York, [cite web
title = New York legislature votes to move up primary
work = Political Ticker
publisher = CNN
date = 2007-03-21
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] and Tennessee. [Citation
last = Dries
first = Bill
publication-date = 2007-08-17
title = Repubs and Dems Fix On February 5 as State Primary Date
newspaper = The Daily News
publication-place = Memphis, Tennessee
volume = 122
issue = 155
url =
accessdate = 2007-08-31

In an attempt to keep states from moving their primary or caucus elections even earlier, the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee established penalties for states holding elections earlier than February 5, 2008. As a result, the Democratic National Committee controversially stripped the states of Michigan and Florida of all pledged convention delegates. [cite news |first=Scott |last=Martelle |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Rancor runs deep among Michigan Democrats |url=,0,1291256.story?coll=la-politics-campaign |work=Los Angeles Times |publisher= |date=2008-01-15 |accessdate=2008-01-15 ] The Republican National Committee has reduced by half the number of convention delegates from five states: Wyoming, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, and Michigan. [cite news |first=Mead |last=Gruver |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= Republicans stripped of delegates want them back |url= |work= |publisher=The Boston Globe |date=2008-01-13 |accessdate=2008-01-15 ]


Advocates for earlier elections point out that voters could have fewer candidates to select from with a later contest, because candidates who do not fare well in the early primaries and caucuses often drop out. Likewise, presidential campaigns spend "big bucks" on advertising, hotel rooms, and campaign staff, which can be an economic boon to states holding earlier elections.

Critics of the earlier polling date claim it will compress the primary campaign cycle down to a three week national campaign where only financially well-off candidates can compete. CNN political pundit Bill Schneider states:

Those states may move up on the calendar because they want a cut of the action. They want less attention paid to small states like Iowa and New Hampshire and more attention paid to big, diverse states like Florida and California. To run in those big states, you need big money and national name recognition. Obscure contenders need not apply.

Others indicate it will ultimately leave voters out of the process. In a BBC News interview, William F. Galvin, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth said:

The people who are being left out of this are the voters, especially those who aren't active in party affairs ... There won't be enough time for voters to focus on these candidates.

Regardless of the number of states moving their election dates earlier and earlier, New Hampshire vigorously maintained its 'first in the nation' primary status. By New Hampshire state law, the secretary of state has sole discretion to set the date of the primary. Bill Gardner, the Secretary of State of New Hampshire for the past 31 years, did not rule out any dates for the primary election, and even intimated that "it could be this year 2007." Ultimately, however, the New Hampshire primary was held on January 8, 2008.

Delegate allocation


Under Democratic Party rules, all delegates are awarded via proportional representation, with a minimum 15% threshold required to receive delegates. A total of 1,664 delegates were pledged by the results of the February 5 votes.


The Republican Party does not mandate a proportional representation system for delegate selection, but instead allows each state to determine its selection process. A total of 1,069 delegates were pledged by the results of the February 5 votes.




* The New Mexico Democratic Caucus came down to provisional ballots. The counting process took 9 days to complete.
* The Kansas state legislature voted to neither fund nor hold a primary in 2008.
* West Virginia Republicans will select 18 of their 30 delegates on February 5, with the final 12 chosen on May 13.
* § Montana Republicans chose to select delegates using a "closed caucus" comprising approximately 3,000 Republican elected officials and state party officials, such as precinct captains.
* ¤ American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States with three delegates to the Democratic National Convention, but no vote in the Presidential election.
* (C) denotes states and territories holding caucuses.
* (WTA) means Winner Takes All, and applies solely to Republican contests.Popular Vote Percentages reflect the percentage within each party, not state overall total votes cast.


ee also

* Mini-Tuesday
* Super Tuesday
* Super Tuesday II, 2008

External links

* [ State-by-state primary and caucus schedule] by The Boston Globe
* [ 2008 Democratic Calendar] by The New York Times
* [ 2008 Republican Calendar] by The New York Times
* [ Select2008] - Comparisons and live polling on presidential candidates' positions and program
* [ Election Center 2008: Primary Results by date - Elections & Politics news from]

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