If you’re Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton or Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, yesterday was pretty great. Both emerged from the cluster of primaries and caucuses known as Super Tuesday with a lead their competitors will have a tough time beating.
“I’m grateful to all of you who voted for me, to the volunteers and organizers. I know you worked your hearts out … now this campaign moves forward to the Crescent City, Motor City, and beyond,” Clinton said in her Super Tuesday victory speech.
Twelve states held races yesterday (Colorado only reported results for the Democratic caucus and Alaska only had a Republican caucus), and Clinton won seven to Bernie Sanders’s four. Trump won eight, with Ted Cruz winning two and Marco Rubio finally winning one — the only one, so far. But what really matters isn’t the number of states a candidate wins, or even the number of votes they receive, but rather the number of delegates they collect.
“In both presidential primaries and caucuses, the real prize is the number of convention delegates that each presidential candidate can win,” George Gordon, a retired professor of politics and government at Illinois State University, tells Teen Vogue. What or who are delegates, however? And why are they so important? The primary process is complicated. But don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.