SALT LAKE CITY – Utah has been a reliably red state for decades. But on its first Super Tuesday, Utah could play a role in deciding the Democratic presidential nominee.
Republicans in Utah have turned in thousands of more ballots than Democrats ahead of Super Tuesday, even though President Donald Trump has not faced a strong challenger. But it’s the candidates who have dropped out on the Democratic side that could make Utah important.
Many Utahns have already cast votes for candidates who are no longer running like, Tom Steyer, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, or Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who dropped out hours after holding a rally in Salt Lake City on Monday.
KSL NewsRadio’s Doug Wright says if those candidates get enough votes, they could pick up delegates.
“You can get delegates in several ways either by the grand number throughout the state or really good numbers in particular Congressional districts,” Wright says.
Senator Bernie Sanders, the frontrunner on the Democratic side, wants to avoid a contested convention. He drew thousands of passionate supporters to a “get out the vote” rally in Salt Lake City on Monday.
But KSL NewsRadio’s Boyd Matheson, who worked in politics for decades, believes Bernie needs all of Utah’s 35 delegates to get the 1,191 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.
Otherwise, Democrats will have a brokered convention with Super Delegates casting the deciding votes.
“The really interesting challenge for the Democrats is this idea of the Super Delegate. There’s over 700 Super Delegates, but they vote in the second round [if no one gets a majority of delegates in the primaries]. A lot of the establishment that Bernie Sanders is railing against could end up being the people who decide his fate,” Matheson says.
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