A closer look at Super-Duper Tuesday

Every Super Tuesday state at a glance and why they matter.
February 5, 2008 3:02:28 PM PST
Voters in more than 20 states head to the polls on what, this year, is being called "Super Duper Tuesday." ABCNews.com looked at the numbers and talked with the experts about the vote coming up on February 5th. Here's what they said about what the big day could mean in the race for the White House. And we look at Super Tuesday in our area.Both political parties have relatively close delegate races heading into Super Tuesday, when voters in nearly half the states and American Samoa will vote in primaries and caucuses.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has the overall lead in delegates to the Democratic convention, with 261, according to an Associated Press analysis of delegate totals. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois has 195. It will be difficult for either candidate to take a decisive lead because the Democrats award delegates proportionally in every state. That means the second-place finisher in every state will also win delegates, as long as they get at least 15 percent of the vote.

Sen. John McCain has an even narrower lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for delegates to the Republican convention. McCain has 101 delegates, including endorsements from party leaders who automatically attend the convention. Romney has 93 delegates and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has 43, according to the AP analysis.

The breakdown by states, with the number of delegates in parentheses. All are primaries unless otherwise indicated. WTA indicates winner take all. Information and analysis from the Associated Press.

ALABAMA (Dems: 52; GOP: 45)
Huckabee working hard to defeat McCain.
Large black population makes this fertile territory for Obama.

ALASKA (caucuses) (Dems: 13; GOP: 26)
Romney making an effort. Ron Paul surprise?
Tilts toward Obama.

ARIZONA (Dems: 56; GOP: 53 WTA)
McCain poised to capture all 53 delegates in a home-state primary.
Hispanic voters are key. They have favored Clinton in early contests but Obama dispatched Sen. Edward M. Kennedy to help.

ARKANSAS (Dems: 35; GOP: 31)
Huckabee's home state.
Clinton was first lady of the state for a dozen years.

CALIFORNIA (Dems: 370; GOP: 170)
McCain and Romney making last-minute stops after polls show the Arizona senator's lead shrinking.
Polls show Obama narrowing Clinton's longtime lead. Hispanic vote is key to delegates.

COLORADO (caucuses) (Dems: 55; GOP: 43)
Romney making a play.
Edge for Obama; party officials planning for large turnout.

McCain favored in winner-take-all primary.
Democratic battleground. Sen. Chris Dodd, an early presidential race casualty, has not endorsed.

DELAWARE (Dems: 15; GOP: 18 WTA)
McCain favored in winner-take all primary.
Democratic toss-up.

GEORGIA (Dems: 87; GOP: 72)
Three-way tossup for Huckabee, McCain and Romney.
Obama should benefit from a large black population.

IDAHO (Democratic caucuses: 18)
Obama favored, after weekend stop in Boise.

ILLINOIS, (Dems: 153; GOP: 57)
Favors McCain. Delegate names are on the ballot.
Obama's home state; Clinton seeking some delegates.

KANSAS (Democratic caucuses only 32)
Obama favored.

Romney's base awards delegates proportionally. McCain campaigned there to pick off delegates.
Obama hopes support from Gov. Deval Patrick and Kennedy can erase Clinton's lead in the polls.

MINNESOTA (caucuses), (Dems: 72; GOP: 38)
McCain has support of Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Sen. Norm Coleman to counter Romney efforts. Obama hopes for a caucus victory.

MISSOURI (Dems: 72; GOP: 58 WTA)
Most competitive three-way Republican race of the night. A Clinton-Obama tossup.

MONTANA (GOP caucus: 25 WTA)
Romney tries for another western triumph after Nevada and Wyoming, this one winner-take-all.

NEW JERSEY (Dems: 107; GOP: 52 WTA)
Winner-take-all state should be McCain's. Polls show race closing in the state next-door to Clinton's New York.

NEW MEXICO (Democratic caucuses: 26)
An early dropout, Gov. Bill Richardson not endorsing. Another Hispanic test for Obama.

NEW YORK (Dems: 232; GOP: 101 WTA)
McCain's, with the help of Rudy Giuliani and large numbers of moderate Republicans. Clinton's home state. Obama hopes to win his share of delegates.

NORTH DAKOTA (caucuses), (Dems: 13; GOP: 23)
Romney made late effort; McCain could benefit from large military presence. Obama favored, with the support of Sen. Kent Conrad.

OKLAHOMA (Dems: 38; GOP:38)
Three-way Republican tossup for McCain, Romney and Huckabee. Clinton territory.

TENNESSEE (Dems: 68; GOP:52)
McCain, Romney and Huckabee all making an effort. Favors Clinton.

UTAH (Dems: 23; GOP: 36 WTA)
Heavy Mormon population makes it Romney's. Democratic toss up.

WEST VIRGINIA (GOP state convention: 18 WTA)
Romney attending the convention in hopes of a win. Huckabee also going.

AMERICAN SAMOA (Dem. caucuses: 3)
In a race this close, could American Samoa decide the winner?

Super Tuesday Facts from ABCNews.com
How did Super Tuesday evolve into such a big event?
Over the past year, states leapfrogged each other on the elections calendar, trying to increase their influence in picking the nominees.

Can anyone lock up a party nomination on February 5th?
An Associated Press analysis of the states in play that day shows that the race for delegates is too close for February 5th to prove decisive for anyone. Jenny Backus, a Democratic consultant not affiliated with any candidate, told ABCNews.com: "Now it's looking as if the primaries after Super Tuesday including such big, delegate-rich states as Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania could grow in importance."

But will each party have a clear frontrunner after Super Tuesday? Maybe- but maybe not. On the Democratic side, there are 1,700 delegates at stake. With two strong candidates, they could be divided fairly evenly- Democrats award their delegates proportionally not winner-take- all. The Republicans have a better chance to produce a clear front-runner because several states, including New York, New Jersey, Missouri and Arizona, award all their GOP delegates to the candidate who wins the popular statewide vote. Still, a Republican candidate would have to attract support across the country to build a formidable lead. "I think you could have two or three viable (GOP) candidates" following Super Tuesday, Ohio Republican Chairman Robert Bennett told ABCNews.

Which are the big races to watch on February 5th? The biggest prizes among the so-called "blue" or Democratic states are California (370 delegates), New York (232) and Illinois (153).

What else will the analysts be watching?

  • A big wild card for the Democrats: The superdelegates. They're nearly 800 elected officials and members of the Democratic National Committee who will be chosen that night, and who are free to support any candidate they choose at the national convention, regardless of the outcome of the primaries.

    Super Tuesday Numbers:
  • Total Delegates Available: 1,081 for the Republicans, 2, 075 for the Democrats
  • Delegates in New York: 281 Democrats and 101 Republicans
  • Delegates in New Jersey: 127 Democrats, 52 Republicans
  • Delegates in Connecticut: 60 Democrats, 30 Republicans

    More about Super Tuesday:
  • From ABCNews.com
  • WABC's 2008 Vote Page
  • What Matters to You? Come Tell Eyewitness News