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Super Tuesday: Everything changes March 1

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Candidates prepare for Super Tuesday.  Top Row L to R: Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz Bottom Row L to R: John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump

Candidates prepare for Super Tuesday.
Top Row L to R: Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz
Bottom Row L to R: John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump

Super Tuesday and the March primaries have the potential to decide who may the nominee from each party.

But how much weight do these states really carry? What could it really mean for the presidential candidates on both aisles, and their future path to the White House? Do candidates like former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich stand a chance in rising above top Republican candidates Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and front-runner real estate mogul Donald Trump?

And could Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders exceed expectations and take more states than Hillary Clinton?

Here’s a look at what to watch in each state and what it could mean for the candidates of each party:

Alabama (March 1)

Republican delegates at stake: 50

Democratic delegates at stake: 53 plus 7 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Donald Trump will try to turn his stadiums full of supporters into a big win in this white, conservative, Evangelical state. If he succeeds, it’d be a big blow to Ted Cruz.

What to watch for the Democrats: African Americans make up more than half of the electorate for Democrats here. That makes South Carolina a useful test of what to expect.

Fun fact: Once part of the solid Democratic South, Alabama has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1976, when Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford by 13 points (56 to 43 percent).

American Samoa

Republican delegates at stake: None

Democratic delegates at stake: 6 plus 4 superdelegates

What to watch for the Democrats: Hillary Clinton won this territory over Barack Obama in 2008. But don’t expect to see any candidates campaigning on the island.

Fun fact: Almost 93% of the population identifies as Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander.

Alaska

Republican delegates at stake: 28

Democratic delegates at stake: None

What to watch for the Republicans: This fiercely libertarian state will come down to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Potentially helping Trump: The endorsement of former Gov. Sarah Palin.

Fun fact: Alaska is a safe Republican state. It has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once since gaining statehood in 1959.

Arkansas

Republican delegates at stake: 40

Democratic delegates at stake: 32 plus 5 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Home-state hero Mike Huckabee has already exited the race. Ted Cruz will try to use the state’s socially conservative bent to notch a win.

What to watch for the Democrats: It’s not often that a state’s former first lady is on the ballot there as a presidential candidate. Hillary Clinton is likely to trounce Bernie Sanders — just like she did Barack Obama by 43 points in 2008.

Fun fact: It is the smallest state in the South.

Colorado

Republican delegates at stake: 0; 37 delegates at stake later in the year

Democratic delegates at stake: 66 plus 13 superdelegates

What to watch for Republicans: Nothing. Colorado Republicans canceled their presidential preference vote in a rebellion against Republican National Committee rules that would have bound delegates to specific candidates according to vote results.

What to watch for the Democrats: Perhaps the most fascinating Super Tuesday state, Bernie Sanders has heavily targeted it as a place to prove he can win Latinos and compete in the West. That’s crucial, since the race moves that direction in late March.

Fun fact: Recreational marijuana use was legalized in 2012.

Georgia

Republican delegates at stake: 76

Democratic delegates at stake: 102 plus 14 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Marco Rubio hopes moderates in Atlanta’s suburbs might keep him close. But Newt Gingrich’s home territory could mirror South Carolina’s results.

What to watch for the Democrats: Hillary Clinton’s advantage with African Americans could help her rack up a huge delegate edge here. But Bernie Sanders has campaigned in Atlanta, with events featuring hometown rapper Killer Mike.

Fun fact: Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe on February 12, 1733, making it the 13th of the 13 original colonies.

Massachusetts

Republican delegates at stake: 42

Democratic delegates at stake: 91 plus 25 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Mitt Romney-land offers Marco Rubio a chance at a victory. He’s the only Catholic in the GOP field in this largely Catholic state.

What to watch for the Democrats: An important Bernie Sanders target, Massachusetts should give an edge to the more liberal candidate. If he loses here, it’s a sign of a brutal night.

Fun fact: Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary, 56% to 41%, over Barack Obama.

Minnesota

Republican delegates at stake: 38

Democratic delegates at stake: 77 plus 16 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Northern states tend to feature more liberal Republican electorates. That makes this a prime test of whether Marco Rubio can top Donald Trump across the map.

What to watch for the Democrats: A caucus state with a largely white population makes Minnesota exactly the kind of state Bernie Sanders is targeting. This could also test the value of endorsements, since Hillary Clinton has the backing of all the state’s powerful Democrats.

Fun fact: The state has one recreational boat for every six people, more than any other state.

Oklahoma

Republican delegates at stake: 43

Democratic delegates at stake: 38 plus four superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: This bright-red, socially conservative state will be a battle between Ted Cruz — the Texas neighbor — and Donald Trump.

What to watch for the Democrats: Oklahoma presents a prime test of whether Hillary Clinton’s strength with white voters from 2008 can keep pace with Bernie Sanders’ edge in 2016.

Fun fact: In the last three presidential elections, the Republican nominee (George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney) each won all 77 Oklahoma counties.

Tennessee

Republican delegates at stake: 58

Democratic delegates at stake: 67 plus 9 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Another test of whether Ted Cruz can surpass Donald Trump in a socially conservative state that’s key to his ballyhooed Southern strategy.

What to watch for the Democrats: The African American population here is smaller than other Southern states — giving Bernie Sanders more of an opening. But Hillary Clinton won by 14 points in 2008 and looks unlikely to lose this time.

Fun fact: If Al Gore had won his home state in 2000, he would have become the president.

Texas

Republican delegates at stake: 155

Democratic delegates at stake: 222 plus 30 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: Ted Cruz makes his stand in his home state. If he can’t win Texas, it’s hard to imagine him beating Donald Trump anywhere.

What to watch for the Democrats: The heavy Latino population will test whether Bernie Sanders can repeat his entrance poll advantage among that set of voters. If not, a huge chunk of delegates could go to Hillary Clinton in Super Tuesday’s biggest prize.

Fun fact: Latinos make up 20% of the state’s electorate.

Vermont

Republican delegates at stake: 16

Democratic delegates at stake: 16 plus 10 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: A moderate state similar to New Hampshire, this will be a useful test of just how much John Kasich can hurt Marco Rubio by gobbling up the moderates he’ll need to go toe-to-toe with Donald Trump.

What to watch for the Democrats: This is Bernie Sanders’ home state. It’s as close to a lock as you’ll find in presidential politics.

Fun fact: Cows outnumbered humans in Vermont until 1963, according to the Vermont Historical Society.

Virginia

Republican delegates at stake: 49

Democratic delegates at stake: 95 plus 15 superdelegates

What to watch for the Republicans: The establishment types rule the north, and social conservatives dominate the south and the west. That makes Virginia a key Super Tuesday battleground for the GOP, with Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump all competing hard for it. It also had a former governor, Jim Gilmore, who was in the race, but never caught on.

What to watch for the Democrats: Gov. Terry McAuliffe is a long-time ally of the Clintons, and Robby Mook, her campaign manager, also ran his successful campaign here. That, plus the state’s proximity to Washington’s establishment Democrats, give Hillary Clinton an advantage.

Fun fact: African Americans made up 30% of the 2008 Democratic primary electorate.

Wyoming

Republican delegates at stake: 29 in a later convention

Democratic delegates at stake: None

What to watch for the Republicans: The home of the Cheney family is a socially conservative state. It might have been a Rand Paul target, but now looks like a fight between Ted Cruz’s organizing edge and Donald Trump’s strength out west.

Fun fact: Wyoming women were the first in the nation to be able to vote, serve on juries and hold public office.

Democrats abroad

Democratic delegates at stake: 29

What to watch for the Democrats: Democrats are the only party to give U.S. citizens living abroad an opportunity to vote. This is a rolling primary, March 1-8.

Fun fact: An estimated 8.7 million Americans oversees are eligible to vote.