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Sanders, Biden lead race for Democratic nomination as Super Tuesday approaches

While President Trump is expected to be named the Republican nominee with no competition, a field of Democrats remain options for the party's nomination with Super Tuesday voting taking place today.

Within the past two weeks, many Democratic candidates have dropped out of the race. This includes Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and, most recently, Pete Buttigieg.

"Many candidates have dropped out to leverage support for other candidates," said Aram Goudsouzian, a history professor at The University of Memphis. "If someone performs really well Tuesday, they will become the front runner."

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg are all searching for momentum and support. Each remaining candidate tried to gain support from those who dropped out this week.

Evidence of this typical process was seen on Twitter. Most recently, both Sanders and Warren attempted to gain support from former candidate Amy Klobuchar.

"I want to congratulate @AmyKlobuchar for running a strong, issue-oriented campaign," Sanders tweeted yesterday. "I hope her supporters will join us in the fight to defeat Donald Trump in November and win real change."

Videos of Sanders's rally in Boston raised the eyebrows of Twitter users across the country, as over 13,000 supporters attended the event Saturday. Meanwhile, Biden won the South Carolina primary on the same day.

Super Tuesday involves multiple states, including Tennessee. While the event is considered highly important, some may not understand the process.

"A number of states are voting in primaries at the same time, each primary election and caucus pledges a certain number of delegates for one candidate or another," Goudsouzian said. "Right now, there is only a handful handed out because there's been so few caucuses."

There are 1,357 delegates up for grabs on Super Tuesday. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to become the nominee.

Going into Super Tuesday, Bernie Sanders leads the delegate count with 60 while Biden holds 54 after his big win Saturday.

"The biggest development is Biden winning South Carolina because many people counted him out," Goudsouzian said. "He's gaining moderate support, so Super Tuesday is critical if he's going to be a challenger for Bernie Sanders."

Not only does Super Tuesday impact who will face Donald Trump as the Democratic nominee in 2020, but it will also shape what the party becomes in the future.

Biden represents the moderate wing of the Democratic party along with Mike Bloomberg. Sanders and Elizabeth Warren represent the far left side, leaving a directional decision to be made for Democratic voters, according to Goudsouzian.

"If you are a Democrat interested in the future of the party, you should vote Tuesday," Goudsouzian said. "It's about the identity of the party going into the election and what democrats will look like in the future."

Only 14% of polled Democrats have a "very positive" view on socialism, the dramatic change Sanders pushes more than Biden, according to Pew Research Center. 51% of Democrats have a "somewhat positive view," while almost all (84%) of Republicans polled had a negative view on socialism.

Education upon candidates and the process of voting differs between individuals. Sarah Mufti, a junior biology major at The UofM, was fully aware of Super Tuesday and planned to be involved.

"Oh my gosh, yes, I know about Super Tuesday. I'm going to vote," Mufti said. "We turned voting this Tuesday into a family thing."

Mufti told her friend, Jessica Lee, a senior business information technology major that voting on Super Tuesday and in the presidential election is important and offered to explain candidates and options.

Lee said that she was unaware of Super Tuesday and did not plan to vote in the presidential election. She said that she did not know enough about candidates to vote.

"I don't know what Super Tuesday is, I have no idea," said Lee. "I just don't know enough about it to be involved."

According to the U.S Census Bureau, voting among young people spiked between 2014 and 2018. Despite the increase, Lee is part of the 64% of the 18-to-29-year old demographic range that does not plan to vote in 2020.

Any registered Tennessee Democrat can vote today. Voting locations can be found on

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