The Daily Brew: A look back at Super Tuesday 2020

Welcome to the Wednesday, March 3, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. A look back at Super Tuesday 2020
  2. Federal judges by status and appointing president 
  3. Register for our March 10 briefing on upcoming ballot measures

A look back at Super Tuesday 2020

It’s hard to believe that Super Tuesday 2020 was one year ago today. It doesn’t feel like it happened a year ago—it feels like it happened in a different world. Here’s how we covered the results of that important day.

On March 3, 2020, 14 states and American Samoa held Democratic presidential primaries, and 13 of those states held Republican primaries. Democrats Abroad also began their weeklong primary.  Approximately 40% of the U.S. population had a presidential primary event that day. In total, 1,344 pledged Democratic delegates—34% of all pledged delegates—were at stake

RealClearPolitics estimates that Joe Biden secured 684 pledged delegates to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 563 on Super Tuesday (including Democrats Abroad). Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was third with 58. Those results gave Biden more than 700 pledged delegates and Sanders more than 600. Note that pledged delegate estimates vary by media outlet. 

Here are some highlights from the day’s results:

  • Joe Biden won 10 primaries—in Alabama, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. 
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders won four primaries—in California, Colorado, Utah, and Vermont. 
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg won the Democratic primary in American Samoa with 49.9% of the vote (175 total votes). U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was second with 29.3% (103 votes).
  • Biden’s largest vote share among all primaries held that day was in Alabama, where he won 63.3% of the vote. Sanders’ largest share was in his home state of Vermont, where he received 50.7% of the vote.
  • In California, the nation’s most populous state, Sanders won with 36% of the vote to Biden’s 27.9%.
  • The closest race was in Maine, where Biden won with 33.4% to Sanders’ 32.4%.

The field of noteworthy Democratic presidential primary candidates narrowed from six to three the week of Super Tuesday. Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar withdrew from the race on March 1 and 2, respectively, and endorsed Biden on March 2. Bloomberg suspended his campaign on March 4 and also endorsed Biden. 

Donald Trump won all 13 Republican primary events on March 3.

Read on

Federal judges by status and appointing president 

In January, we identified that Jimmy Carter (D) appointed the longest-serving active federal judge, Carmen Cerezo, in 1980. With help from the Federal Judicial Center’s database, we looked at all 1,403 living Article III judges—829 who are active and 574 who are on senior status—as of Jan. 25.

We revisited this data to summarize the proportion of active and senior status judges by the presidents that appointed them. Barack Obama (D) appointed the largest number of active federal judges at 316 (38%). Bill Clinton (D) appointed the largest number of judges currently on senior status at 167 (29%). Republican presidents appointed 424 active federal judges and Democrats appointed 405.

As a refresher: The president appoints, and the Senate confirms, Article III federal judges to lifetime terms. These judges serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals, the United States District Courts, and the Court of International Trade. Federal judges on senior status are semi-retired. They continue to serve on federal courts while hearing a reduced number of cases.

The data below includes current federal judges through January 25, 2021.

Of 829 active federal judges:

  • Barack Obama (D) appointed 316 (38%)
  • Donald Trump (R) appointed 232 (28%)
  • George W. Bush (R) appointed 163 (20%)
  • Bill Clinton (D) appointed 88 (11%)
  • Ronald Reagan (R) appointed 16 (1.9%)
  • George H.W. Bush (R) appointed 13 (1.6%)
  • Jimmy Carter (D) appointed 1 (0.1%)

Of 574 senior status judges:

  • Bill Clinton (D) appointed 167 (29%)
  • Ronald Reagan (R) appointed 138 (24%)
  • George W. Bush (R) appointed 111 (19%)
  • George H.W. Bush (R) appointed 102 (18%)
  • Jimmy Carter (D) appointed 41 (7%)
  • Richard Nixon (R) appointed 7 (1.2%)
  • Gerald Ford (R) appointed 5 (0.9%)
  • Barack Obama (D) appointed 2 (0.3%)
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (D) appointed 1 (0.2%)

Read on 

Register for our March 10 briefing on upcoming ballot measures

Voters in three states—Colorado, New York, and Pennsylvania—will decide statewide ballot measures later this year. And three states—California, Iowa, and Kansas—have already certified measures that will go before voters in 2022. State legislatures and ballot initiative petition drives will put other measures on the ballot as well. 

Join us on March 10 for our next briefing breaking down all of this activity with our own Josh Altic. He’ll discuss the 2021 and 2022 statewide measures that are already certified for the ballot, historical trends, and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on ballot measure certification. He’ll also identify those notable potential measures that could still be added to ballots.

The briefing is at 11 a.m. Central Time on March 10, and you can register—for free—by clicking on the link below. If you can’t attend the presentation live, we’ll send you a link to the recording when it’s available so you can watch it on your schedule. I hope you’ll join us!