This year’s U.S. presidential campaign has taken most of the “super” out of Super Tuesday, but the day is still an important step in choosing the next leader of the United States.
On Tuesday, March 5, 15 states and the U.S. territory American Samoa will have contests to choose one presidential nominee each for the Republican and Democratic parties. And Iowa will report the results of its Democratic vote-by-mail primary. It will be the biggest pot of delegates decided on one day in all of election season. Because of decisions made by each state and each party, some states have a contest just for one party on Super Tuesday, holding it for the other party on a different day. (Independent candidates and candidates from other political parties go through a different set of challenges to get on the November ballot.)
The Democratic and Republican parties select their presidential and vice presidential candidates every four years at a party convention to which each state (and several U.S. territories) sends delegates. States and territories hold votes — through primary elections or in-person meetings called caucuses — between January 15 and June 8.
Half the Republican delegates and 36% of the Democratic delegates will be decided on Super Tuesday this year, according to Ballotpedia, an online political encyclopedia. (Party rules affect how many delegates each state sends to a convention.)
Barbara Norrander, emeritus professor in the School of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Arizona, says that although some other countries also have primary systems, the U.S. system may be the most complicated.
Super Tuesday’s power, she says, is in the sheer number of delegates up for grabs that day. The results can focus long-shot candidates on realities: Typically, many drop out soon after Super Tuesday, Norrander says.
Super Tuesday usually narrows the field of contenders for other reasons too. Some candidates find it more difficult to attract volunteers or media coverage or to raise campaign funds if they don’t do well on the day.
This year, most of the field was winnowed early. Still, political experts say Super Tuesday remains an important way for candidates to amass enough convention support to ward off any late entrants into the campaign. (And winning helps candidates to attract donations and media attention.)
Power in numbers
It is not a coincidence that so many states hold primaries on the same day. Southern states originally banded together in the 1970s to draw candidates and attention to their region. This year the more geographically diverse states and territories will cast votes, from California to Maine, and from Texas to Minnesota.
Many of the Super Tuesday states and territories have small populations and few delegates. They hope that by holding their contests on the same day as some of the bigger states, they gain greater influence on selecting the next U.S. president.
Winning big states early in the process sets candidates up to build unstoppable momentum, according to Scott McLean, professor of political science at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.
Although this year’s Super Tuesday will be less dramatic than usual, the drama of the day is likely to return. Many skilled politicians have stayed on the bench this election cycle, McLean says. “You are going to see a lot of them running in four years. Super Tuesday will be a major moment.”
The first U.S. Congress, comprising the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, held its initial meeting on March 4, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City.
But because of bad weather and travel problems on that date 235 years ago, that gathering did not achieve a quorum for a full month, after which the group quickly undertook the important business of confirming George Washington as the first president of the United States.
That first Congress, which ran until March 4, 1791, “was arguably the most important of all the [U.S.] Congresses that have met,” says the National Constitution Center, a Philadelphia-based educational nonprofit. Notably, the first Congress approved the submission of the Bill of Rights to the states for ratification, passed a Judiciary Act that set up court systems, defined Cabinet departments, and saw the Compromise of 1790 between James Madison and Alexander Hamilton that moved the capital to Washington, forging a framework that is still in place today.
By the term’s end, federal legislators were no longer meeting in New York, but at Congress Hall in Philadelphia. And the March opening date was replaced in 1793 with the adoption of the U.S. Constitution’s “First Monday in December” start date.
On November 17, 1800, Congress finally moved from Philadelphia to Washington, convening in the newly completed north wing of the unfinished Capitol building. More than a century later — in 1933 — lawmakers modernized the congressional schedule by ratifying the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, establishing January 3 as the start of the term.
The final shows of The Eras Tour aren’t until December, yet Royce Chwin is already preparing for Taylor Swift’s arrival in Vancouver. The chief of executive of Destination Vancouver, a nonprofit promoting tourism, is planning for big crowds and eyeing Swift’s economic impact in similarly sized cities like Denver and Seattle.
In July, a pair of concerts in Denver added an estimated $140 million to the U.S. state of Colorado’s gross domestic product. The tour’s stop in Seattle brought the city a single-day record of $7.4 million in hotel and restaurant revenues.
“It’s such good news for fans and for our tourism and hospitality sector, particularly since early December is generally a slower month for major events,” Chwin told ShareAmerica of Swift’s plans to close her international tour with three shows in Vancouver.
The city was added after Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other world leaders in pitching their countries or cities for a stop on the tour, reflecting the economic boom that creative women — and their legions of fans — can bring.
Swift’s Eras Tour, Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour and Barbie, the 2023 film written and directed by Greta Gerwig, have grossed billions of dollars worldwide, while spurring revenue for venues, hotels, restaurants and other businesses.
Beyoncé’s Stockholm concert in May 2023 so boosted consumer demand that an economist has suggested the show contributed to Sweden’s spike in inflation later that year.
In the United States, where women drive between 70% and 80% of consumer purchasing decisions, the Renaissance World Tour has added $4.5 billion to the economy, according to Forbes. The Eras Tour is projected to gross $5.7 billion.
The economic impact is perhaps most noticeable in smaller cities. In Santa Clara, a California city of 127,000, hotels sold out for weeks around a Swift concert. “The moment the concert was announced … the phones rang off the hook at our hotels,” Christine Lawson of Discover Santa Clara told ABC News.
Swift’s two shows in Cincinnati in June and July were an opportunity for some businesses and nonprofits to join the festivities and drum up support. Pig Works, a nonprofit that organizes running races, set up booths outside the stadium offering free hair braiding, glitter makeup and friendship bracelets, all popular among Swift concertgoers.
Iris Simpson Bush, chief executive of Pig Works, which takes its name for the outsized role of hogs in Cincinnati’s economic history, told ShareAmerica that not long after the pre-concert festivities, the nonprofit saw a bump in registrations for races.
“We had one of our largest fields of participants last October and think it was probably the good karma of supporting the” festivities before the concerts in June and July, Bush said.
The three branches of the federal government come together at the U.S. Capitol every year (except a president’s first year in office) to hear the president deliver the State of the Union address. That speech to a joint session of Congress allows the president to lay out an agenda for the coming year.
President Biden’s third State of the Union address is scheduled for March 7. Take a look at where the president will make his remarks and where all the major players in Washington — including the first lady, Supreme Court justices, the Cabinet and media — will sit to listen to him.
An earlier version of this story was published February 3, 2023.
Charlottesville, Virginia, a city of 45,000 near the Appalachian Mountains, has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050.
As director of the city’s Office of Sustainability, Kristel Riddervold works to achieve that goal. The office, opened in December, ensures large construction projects meet environmental standards and works to expand charging capacity for electric vehicles. It recently worked with public works officials to replace city street lights with energy efficient light bulbs.
“This is formalizing and elevating sustainability and the planet as an organizational priority,” Riddervold told ShareAmerica of the new office. While Charlottesville has long taken steps to address the climate crisis, she said “this is the kind of work where we need to all pull in the same direction.”
The United States cut greenhouse gas emissions an estimated 17% between 2005 and 2021, and the country is on pace to achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
As nations strive to meet climate goals under the Paris Agreement, the role of cities couldn’t be more important. Roughly 70% of climate pollution worldwide emanates from urban areas, according to Satya Rhodes-Conway, the mayor of Madison, Wisconsin.
“Equally important is that cities are hotbeds of innovation, and city leaders have been committed to and aggressively pursuing climate solutions for a long time,” Rhodes-Conway said in December after attending COP28, a U.N. climate conference in Dubai.
Rhodes-Conway attended COP28 as a representative of Climate Mayors, a group formed in 2014 that has mobilized 750 U.S. mayors to take meaningful action in their communities to address climate change.
“All Mayors across the country have one distinct superpower – they are the closest to the problem so thereby they are the closest to the solution,” shared our Chair @MayorBibb at a @PBS Climate Virtual Town Hall on climate innovation.
Madison, a city of 269,000 people, has been moving toward a net-zero emissions (PDF, 7.8MB) goal since 2018. In 2023, the city:
Installed solar panels on 11 buildings, bringing the total number of solar-powered city buildings to 42.
Added the 100th electric vehicle to its fleet of cars, buses and fire trucks.
Launched a new air quality monitoring tool in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Passed new energy efficiency guidelines for buildings across the city.
Montpelier, Vermont, America’s smallest state capital, with a population of 8,000, is working to achieve a goal of net-zero energy by 2030 (PDF, 867KB).
The city’s goal is to “lead the way as the nation’s first state capital where all of our energy needs — electric, thermal, and transportation — are produced or offset by renewable energy sources.”
Montpelier has expanded wind and solar power, and retrofits public and private buildings with geothermal energy, which uses the Earth’s steam to heat buildings. Like Charlottesville, Montpelier is installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to encourage EV ownership.
Riddervold, of Charlottesville, says city officials work with partners in the community to ensure its sustainability strategies are inclusive. “We have a commitment to social equity because everything about this topic affects people and not all people are affected equally.”
In early August 2008, the questions were coming in at a rapid-fire pace from reporters gathered in the U.S. Department of State’s press room in Washington. It was Robert Wood’s first day as the department’s acting spokesman, and he answered many questions on Russia’s invasion of its neighbor, Georgia.
“It was an extraordinary moment to begin the job,” says Wood, now an alternate representative at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. He had dreamed of serving as the spokesman since arriving as an intern in the office of press relations in 1987.
Despite the chaotic news day unfolding on that first day Wood served as spokesman, he felt prepared. As a 20-year foreign service officer, he understood America’s role in the world. And because he had once considered a journalism career, he had insight into and respect for reporters’ role in society.
Looking back today, Wood believes his heritage as an African American helped the world see a more complete picture of America during his time (2008–2010) as spokesman and deputy spokesman.
“One of the strengths of America is her diversity,” Wood says. “When you bring all of these diverse views to the table, you develop a more complete, comprehensive understanding of various issues.”
African Americans have helped communicate America’s foreign policy as far back as the early 1960s, when Carl Rowan served as the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for public affairs. An acclaimed journalist, Rowan reported for the Minneapolis Tribune on the lives of Black people in the South and caught the attention of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, who each tapped him for diplomatic roles.
Black journalists began integrating Washington press pools in the 1940s, a time when discrimination made their jobs difficult. Sometimes they were given much-deserved support from government officials. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt invited Black reporter Harry S. McAlpin Jr. to cover an Oval Office news conference in 1944, despite the White House Correspondents’ Association’s refusal to admit him.
In the late 1940s, Alice Dunnigan covered Washington for the Associated Negro Press, the first Black news wire service, established in Chicago in 1919. Dunnigan was the first African American woman credentialed to cover the White House and the State Department. She later served as an information specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor.
State Department briefings today draw reporters from publications around the world and questions about varied topics. To Pearl Matibe, who covers U.S. foreign policy for publications in the U.S., Nigeria and South Africa, the “diversity of a press pool is of paramount importance.”
US-#SouthAfrica relations | “The United States Government views South Africa as one of the most important and significant states on the African continent.” – a Washingtion insider.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken greets South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor at the State Department on September 26, 2023.
Matibe immigrated to the U.S. from Zimbabwe in 2002, amid a crackdown on press freedoms in that country, and has covered both the White House and State Department since 2016.
She says that, as an African, she is able to ask questions that other reporters might miss. “Diverse reporters bring a range of cultural competencies and language skills,” she said. “We can enhance the quality, accuracy, credibility and democratic discourse of journalism, and this fosters a greater public engagement.”
When Jalina Porter became the first African American woman appointed State Department deputy spokesperson in January 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked to continue and even expand access to U.S. foreign policy information through social media outlets and via teleconferences.
Porter has met women journalists in Japan and Jordan who tell her that seeing an African American woman serve as spokesperson was a powerful example.
“People recognized the magnitude of the messenger being the message,” Porter says. “It is absolutely an imperative to have, both at the spokesperson level and at the reporter level, to have a diversity of thought, age, background, demographic, religion, all of those things.”
U.S. Agency for International Development intern Frances Summers contributed to this story.
For the first time in more than 50 years, a U.S. mission landed on the moon, delivering NASA research equipment that will inform future lunar exploration.
The Odysseus lander, built by the private sector company Intuitive Machines, touched down on the moon at 6:23 p.m. EST February 22.
The NASA-supported mission is the first U.S. lunar landing since the famed Apollo missions that landed the first man on the moon July 20, 1969. NASA’s Artemis program works with the private sector and partner nations to return astronauts to the moon and explore Mars.
“Together, with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back. And I promise we’re not going anywhere,” President Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the 2023 G7 Summit.
And since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine two years ago, G7 partners — the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan as well as the European Union — have unwaveringly supported Ukraine’s democracy and sovereignty.