Supporters of Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump gather, ahead of Super Tuesday, in Huntington Beach, California, on March 3, 2024. Image Credit: REUTERS

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump will march to the threshold of a third Republican presidential nomination this week as millions of Americans vote in “Super Tuesday” — a critical milestone in his party’s lopsided 2024 race for the White House.

Normally the most consequential part of the campaign before the election itself, Super Tuesday decides Republican and Democratic primaries in the giant states of California and Texas, as well as more than a dozen other battlegrounds.

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But the usual drama will largely be absent this year, with the door expected to swing firmly shut on Trump’s only remaining challenger, Nikki Haley, and clear the way for a repeat of his 2020 match-up with Joe Biden.

The president is virtually unopposed in the Democratic contest and will look to keep an insurmountable lead against two single-digit challengers.

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Haley lost the early nominating states by wide margins, and pundits give her little chance of catching up to Trump, who claims his opponent has “no traction” and will lose every Super Tuesday state.

“If every single conservative, Republican and Trump supporter in these states shows up on Super Tuesday, we will be very close to finished with this primary contest,” Trump said in a campaign message ahead of the big vote.

“Republicans will then be able to focus all of our energy, time and resources on defeating crooked Joe Biden, the worst president in the history of our country.”

Fifteen states and one territory - American Samoa - make up Tuesday’s map, and hopefuls can bag 70 per cent of the delegates they need to be named the presumptive nominee.

Trump cannot close out the contest on that night but expects to be anointed by March 19 at the latest.

Haley, who warns voters that nominating Trump spells general election defeat for Republicans, has plenty of cash on hand but says she has not decided if she will continue beyond Tuesday.


Super Tuesday describes the day in the US presidential primary cycle when the most states vote.

In the Republican contest, 874 of 2,429 delegates will be up for grabs, including from the two most populous states, California and Texas.

At least 1,215 delegates are needed to win the nomination at the Republican National Convention in July.

Contest-by-contest, the Republican delegate counts for the Super Tuesday votes are: Albama (50), Alaska (29), American Samoa (9) Arkansas (40), California (169), Colorado (37), Maine (20), Massachusetts (40), Minnesota (39), North Carolina (74), Oklahoma (43), Tennessee (58), Texas (161), Utah (40), Vermont (17) and Virginia (48).

About a third of Democratic delegates will also be decided on March 5, with nominating contests held in 14 of those 15 states, plus American Samoa. In Alaska, Democrats vote on April 6.

March 5 is also the final day for Democrats in Iowa to mail in their ballots in that state’s caucuses and when results will be announced.


Super Tuesday is on March 5 this year. With so many states and a territory voting across different time zones, it could take a while for the full results to be clear.

In California, vote-by-mail ballots are valid as long as they are postmarked on or prior to primary election day and received by March 12.

In addition, some states hold “open primaries” that allow registered voters to choose whether to cast their ballots in the Democratic or Republican primary, adding a possible layer of unpredictability.


Haley has no clear path to beating Trump. This could be her last chance to at least slow the former president’s path to the nomination.

Opinion polls show Trump to be an overwhelming favorite in California and Texas, as well as in states such as Alabama, Maine and Minnesota. His campaign projects that he will win at least 773 delegates on Super Tuesday and clinch the nomination a week or two later.

Trump has easily swept all six Republican nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, the US Virgin Islands, South Carolina and Michigan. He has repeatedly urged Haley to drop out to set up a rematch of the 2020 election against Biden that polls show many Americans don’t want.

Haley, a former South Carolina governor who served as UN ambassador under Trump, has vowed to stay in the race. She will crisscross the country with an aggressive travel schedule leading up to Super Tuesday, and her campaign has rolled out a leadership team in Georgia, where voters go to the polls on March 12, a week after Super Tuesday.

Voters, she said after her defeat in South Carolina on February 24, “have the right to a real choice, not a Soviet-style election with only one candidate.

“I have a duty to give them that choice,” she added.

The Super Tuesday results in North Carolina will be closely watched for signs of each candidate’s strength in one of the potential battleground states that could decide the November general election. Trump won the state in 2020 by just over a single percentage point.

North Carolina will award 74 delegates on Super Tuesday. The state allows voters who are unaffiliated with a party to participate in any primary they choose, which could boost Haley’s performance given her relative strength with independent voters compared to Trump.