Students gathered in the Hopper buttery Tuesday evening to take a break from studying for midterms in quintessential Yale fashion — mesmerized by Super Tuesday election coverage.
Super Tuesday, the day where more than one-third of all delegates for the Democratic National Convention are up for grabs, created a sense of excitement on campus. Former Vice President Joe Biden won the vast majority of the 14 states, benefiting from the dwindling Democratic field of nominees and continuing the momentum he gained from winning the South Carolina primary on Saturday. Although the final delegate totals for each candidate may not be known for another few days, Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders came out of Tuesday as the race’s front-runners, sparking conversation on campus about the future of the race.
“Beyond allocating a third of the delegates, Super Tuesday can set in motion events that make or break candidacies,” wrote Duncan Hosie LAW ’21, co-president of the Yale Law School Democrats, in an email to the News.
Rosie Rothschild ’23 and News staff writer Sophie Kane ’23, voter engagement representatives for Davenport and Pierson colleges respectively, had heard chatter on campus about Super Tuesday and wanted to create a space for students to be excited about the elections together. They worked with the Yale College Council’s Events Committee and the Yale Votes Coalition to organize a watch party in the Hopper buttery.
“Over the past month I’ve been hearing talk of the primary election nonstop, so we knew Super Tuesday was going to be on everyone’s minds,” Kane said before the event. “Rosie and I wanted to host an event open to everyone, even those outside of Yale’s political circles. We hope that at our event students can come together to discuss the different candidates, take a break from the midterms and watch the results come out in what are being called the most important primaries of our lifetime.”
But outside of the watch party, discussion and debate about the results of Super Tuesday can be found all over campus. For Sanders supporters, Super Tuesday was met with mixed feelings. Mel Eskender ’23, co-founder and treasurer of Yale Students for Bernie, commented that the results were surprising since there was no predicting “the lengths the Democratic Establishment would go to stop Bernie.” She added, however, that delegate count is the most important measure, and the gap between Sanders and Biden “is easily surmountable.”
Liam Elkind ’21, elections coordinator for the Yale College Democrats, stated that Tuesday’s results are likely a product of Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s exit from the field and endorsement of Biden. He added that the results reinforce the notion that the competition is now a “two-way race between Biden and Sanders for the Democratic nomination.” However, Elkind qualified that Super Tuesday is not the end of the race.
“While Super Tuesday is certainly a big day for the primary, nothing is definitive, and with more elections coming down the pike, I wouldn’t count anybody out just yet, especially given the very real possibility that no candidate obtains a majority of delegates,” Elkind said, clarifying that he was speaking in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the Yale Dems.
A total of 1,357 delegates will be awarded from Super Tuesday’s election contests.
Julia Bialek | firstname.lastname@example.org