NEW YORK – The road to November is an arduous and long one. Many candidates have sought the Democratic nomination to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency. On March 3, what is known as Super Tuesday, Americans will have the clearest look yet at who that individual will be because 14 states are holding primaries or having caucuses along with American Samoa and Democrats Abroad. That amounts to a whopping 1,357 delegates up for grabs in one day, a day that is sure to further winnow the democratic field.
Of course, the most amount of ink tomorrow will be spent on large states such as California, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, and Massachusetts, after all, those states alone account for 943 of the 1,357 delegates on Super Tuesday.
VOTES OF DEMOCRATS ABROAD CAN MAKE AN IMPACT
New York State Director for the Mike Bloomberg Presidential Campaign, John Calvelli, spoke with TNH about the importance of getting out the vote to Democrats who live abroad. Americans abroad were given the right to vote and to organize to vote in American elections in 1975.
Some notable races that came right down to the wire and relied on absentee ballots include George W. Bush in 2000 versus Al Gore, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina in 2006, and Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire in 2016. In recent days Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama was actively fundraising in Paris and London with Democrats Abroad for his reelection campaign this fall. In other words, the votes of Americans overseas not only count but they are increasingly receiving more than just a footnote in articles about the race to November.
Enter former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is on the ballot for the first time on Super Tuesday. Democrats Abroad award 13 pledged delegates and 8 superdelegates, which brings the total to 21 delegates, a delegate count that campaigns ignore at their own peril. Many candidates simply lack the infrastructure or funds to compete all across the map, and even less so, courting overseas votes. Having both of those crucial elements has allowed Bloomberg the opportunity make his case to every American that he is uniquely qualified to defeat Donald J. Trump in November and become the next President of the United States.
Calvelli spoke with TNH about the importance of getting out the vote to Democrats who live abroad, noting that since 1975 the Democratic Party has treated Americans abroad as, “the 51st state”. He drove home the significance of the quantity of delegates that Democrats Abroad can deliver to the party saying, “when superdelegates are included, the 21 delegates allocated to Americans overseas amounts to more pledged delegates than South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Vermont and is equal to the delegates won in the state of Delaware.
The U.S. State Department has estimated that there are currently approximately nine million Americans living beyond our shores. Voting begins on March 3 and continues through March 10. Calvelli noted that despite there being approximately 9 million Americans overseas, “a fact that is pretty shocking is that only 34,570 Americans overseas voted in 2016 and in Greece, the whole country of Greece, there was 281 votes cast – that’s it. We want to let people know this voting process is happening and it’s very important that they get involved. Democrats Abroad in Greece have organized two events, the first on Super Tuesday at The Michael and Kitty Dukakis Center at the American College Thessaloniki (ACT) in Pylea, beginning at 1 PM and the second will be held in Athens, at the King George Hotel on Sunday, March 8 beginning at noon. A general meeting and a luncheon with paid admission will follow.