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Why Super Tuesday matters to Wisconsinites

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Democratic field of candidates is expected to narrow even more after Super Tuesday when 14 states host primary elections.

Tuesday is an opportunity for Democratic candidates to win the most delegates in a single night: 1,357 delegates are up for grabs.

UW-Madison Political Science Professor David Canon said it’s the most important day on the primary calendar even though Wisconsinites won’t be participating.

"Fourteen states are going to decide how their delegates are going to be allocated for the convention in Milwaukee and this is the biggest night of the election season," said Canon.

For candidates, what’s at stake is which one has the potential to elevate their campaign and who will be the front-runner for the nomination.

"I think is help winnow that field down to the list of folks that will actually be campaigning here in Wisconsin," Canon said.

It’s also a test to see which candidates will continue their campaign if they don't overperform on Tuesday, narrowing the field of candidates ahead of Wisconsin’s primary in April.

In three days, three candidates dropped out; Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar and Canon said there could be more. 

"As soon as you start underperforming your supporters say -- oh my -- there's no way they're going to actually get the nomination, the money dries up at that point, you're not on tv anymore and it's hard to run a national campaign,” he said.

In Wisconsin, Senator Bernie Sanders is surging in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll with nearly a double-digit lead against his opponents. He’s also leading in delegates with 60 following Bidens 54.

Canon said if Sanders builds a wide lead on Tuesday it could become difficult for others to catch up, though that outcome is far from a gaurantee. For any one candidate to dominate the map Canon said it would be an extraordinary show of strength.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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