Daily Video

February 24, 2016

Trump wins Republican Nevada caucuses

Essential question

How might the delegate system be viewed as democratic by some voters and undemocratic by others?

Donald Trump easily won Nevada’s Republican caucuses on Tuesday, taking home about 45 percent of the vote. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio placed second with 24 percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took third with 21 percent.

Trump’s win is likely to ensure that personal attacks, which have been growing particularly between Trump and Cruz, will increase. Leading up to Nevada, Trump publically called Cruz “a little baby” while Cruz said Trump can’t be trusted to stick to his positions.

With Super Tuesday approaching on March 1, candidates are eager to pull in as many convention delegates as possible. So far, Trump has a big lead. After four Republican primary contests, he’s earned 81 delegates, putting him well ahead of Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. A Republican candidate needs 1,237 to win the nomination.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders are just about even in delegates earned after their first three races. As the two candidates also look ahead to Super Tuesday, they hope to add more superdelegates to their count. Superdelegates are Democratic Party leaders who get an automatic convention vote and so far they’ve mostly gone to Clinton, giving her a significant overall delegate lead.

Key terms

convention delegates — individuals chosen to represent their state at the Republican and Democratic party conventions where each party selects its candidate prior to a presidential election

superdelegates — in the Democratic Party, an unelected delegate who is free to support any candidate for the presidential nomination at the party’s national convention

Super Tuesday — the Tuesday in February or March of a presidential election year when the greatest number of states hold primary elections to select delegates to national conventions at which each party’s presidential candidates are officially nominated

Warm up questions (before watching the video)
  1. How many Republican candidates are still in the race for the nomination?
  2. When is the next primary race?
  3. What is Super Tuesday?
Critical thinking questions (after watching the video)
  1. Why are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are focusing so much energy on personal attacks at one another?
  2. Why do you think Hillary Clinton has amassed so many more superdelegates than Bernie Sanders at this point?
  3. Is it too early to make a call as to who will be the Republican nominee for president? Why or why not?
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