A round of presidential primaries took place on Tuesday June 2, dubbed “Super Tuesday II”. Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C. all held primary elections. Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden picked up wins in every state, plus D.C., gathering more votes than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Sanders dropped out of the race in early April but remained on the ballot. Sitting at 1,912 delegates, Biden needed to secure nearly 90% of the 497 delegates up for grabs to meet the 1,991 delegates required to secure the Democratic nomination. He fell short, only acquiring 1,969.
Biden and Sanders were the only two candidates on the ballot, despite Biden being the only candidate remaining in the race. Usually, when presidential hopefuls give up on their bid for President, the delegates they have acquired during primary elections are reallocated to remaining candidates so that they may meet the 1,991 minimum. However, the campaigns of Biden and Sanders came to a special agreement in April when Sanders dropped out of the race, preserving his delegate count and allowing him to remain on the ballot of future and current primaries. Without an active campaign, Sanders has underperformed Biden in every election, gaining only 47 delegates to Biden’s 403 on Super Tuesday II.
The states holding Super Tuesday II presidential primaries were met with unprecedented challenges, from the restrictions of COVID-19 to political turbulence caused by the death of George Floyd. All states encouraged voters to cast their ballots by mail due to the coronavirus threat. Many states have exempted primary voters from curfew orders put in place to crack down on protesting and rioting in major cities. Many state and local officials are calling the “first Super Tuesday of the COVID era” an opportunity to create a model for more flexible voting practices in the future.
As of Super Tuesday II on June 2, eight states and the Virgin Islands had not yet held their primaries, all postponed due to coronavirus concerns. After the US Virgin Islands' Democratic primary on June 6, Biden earned exactly 1,991 pledged delegates, the majority threshold required to secure the nomination.
The GCSAA government affairs team will continue to follow the national and state elections and post updates to the new Elections web page in the advocacy section of gcsaa.org.