Democratic Primaries: What You Need to Know

Primary elections are ramping up with voter dates approaching fast. The primary election is held to see which candidate will be the Democratic candidate for the presidential election at the end of the year.

The primary election is decided by delegates which are split into pledged and unpledged delegates. The pledged delegates vote for candidates based on how citizens vote whereas unpledged delegates are free to choose whichever candidate.

Utah’s primary election is held as both a mail-in ballot and in person locally on March 3 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information is available here, including registration.

Utah is a Super Tuesday voting state, the day where the most amount of delegates can be won in any single day throughout the primaries. There are 1,357 of the 3,979 pledged delegates given out on March 3.

Currently Bernie Sanders is in the lead with 45 out of the 100 delegates. His campaign is run on the hope of achieving economic, racial, social and environmental justice for all. Many of his views are seen as too radical to succeed.

Medicare for all and free college tuition are among Sander’s most popular plans for office.

Second place is currently going to Pete Bittigieg with 25 delegates. Buttigieg’s more moderate platform is focused on bringing up rural communities and making changes to education legislation such as boosting teacher pay and reducing student debt.

Joe Biden is in third with 15 delegates with another more moderate approach to the presidency. Biden’s platform is focused on ensuring equal rights, rewarding the middle class, and emphasizing a respectable leadership on the world stage.

Next comes Elizabeth Warren with eight delegates. Similar to Sanders, she is hoping to fix the healthcare system, eliminating college debt and increasing taxes on billionaires.

Finally, Amy Klobuchar has the last seven delegates. She’s another moderate candidate with the hopes of combating addictions, improving mental health care and most importantly to her, having a bipartisan approach to the presidency.

Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are also in the running but currently have no delegates.

Gabbard hopes to reign in political spending, expand Medicare and expand debt forgiveness programs for college.

Bloomberg hopes to promote bi-partisan progress, protect the Second Amendment and invest in improving disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Finally Steyer hopes to get big corporations out of politics and prioritize people over profits.

The next primary before Super Tuesday will be South Carolina on Feb. 29. Currently Biden is polling higher than Sanders after performing well in the latest debate.

Sanders has continued to perform well during debates, however he did receive many attacks and even some boos during the most recent debate.

The nomination will go to the candidate that receives 1,991 delegates. This candidate will then go head-to-head against President Donald Trump during general elections at the end of the year.

Remember to register to vote! While it is too late to be registered in time for the presidential primaries, there are still the state elections in June and the final presidential election in November.


Story by: Alex Schilling
Photos Courtesy of: Vox, Washington Post, Real Clear Politics, Google