The birth of Super Tuesday

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, Wesley McCandless cast his ballot at one of the voting centers in Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento County is among the 15 counties in the state that have replaced traditional polling places with multi-purpose “vote centers” where people who live anywhere in the county can vote early, drop off ballots or register to vote. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- In 1988, Democratic leaders in nine southern states put a plan into action they thought would help propel either a candidate from the region or a moderate candidate as the presidential nominee. They argued that holding earlier primaries would give them a leg up.

Democratic primaries were held that year in a total of 21 states, along with American Samoa. Republic primaries were held in 17 states on the same day. It was the beginning of the day known as Super Tuesday in its current form, according to the Pew Research Center.

The number of states participating in Super Tuesday has varied each presidential election cycle since it’s beginning, but it’s still an important focus for both political parties because of the large number of delegates up for grabs.

This year 14 states and American Samoa are participating in the Democratic Super Tuesday with 1,357 delegates available but it’s not the biggest Super Tuesday. The biggest Democratic Super Tuesday to occur since 1988 was on Feb. 5, 2008, when 24 caucuses or primaries took place. It made 1,688 delegates available to Democratic nominee hopefuls, Pew Research says.

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