Leo Pierson: Super Tuesday! (Or, Maybe Not)


Guest Post by Leo Pierson (@LeoPierson)

It has notably taken me a few days to digest the on-goings and outcomes of supposed Super Tuesday. I’ve been second-guessing myself, thinking I must have missed the big news, the surprise twist, that moment of political exhilaration that dons said primary with such a lofty moniker.

But I didn’t miss anything; that moment just never came. And this mi gente, is the surprising, if anti-climactic news as regards (the not so) Super Tuesday.

Here in Ohio, which should have been the prize among the 10 states that held primaries, the candidates decimated previous spending records. Mitt Romney—and his Super PAC—blew  $12 million to capture the Buckeye State. He outspent his rival, Rick Santorum, by a margin of 4:1 and still barely managed to eke out a 1% victory (please pardon the pun).

Also worth noting, the House of Representatives lost two long-time incumbents, both of whom were outflanked from the right. Podiatrist and Tea Party darling, Brad Wenstrup, beat Southwest Ohio’s Jean Schmidt, who is perhaps best known for the SNL spoof covering her 2005 tirade on the House floor.

As reported in the Washington Post, Wenstrup won by six points, and he never ran even a single television ad! Schmidt, who has recently been dogged by House ethics investigations, also lost her home county. Obvious take-away: if you’re going to run for office, make sure your neighbors actually like you!

The other major loss came from left wing darling, Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is known for his quixotic 2004 and 2008 Presidential bids. Due to perceived anti-immigrant comments from his former Democratic colleague turned rival, Marcy Kaptur, Northeast Ohio’s Latino community threw its weight behind Kucinich. I wrote about the debacle here on the Huffington Post. Somewhat predictably, however, Congresswoman Kaptur handily beat the longtime Cleveland politician by nearly 20 points.

There are two take-aways from the Kaptur-Kucinich race: First, all politicians need to stop railing against immigrants if they expect support from their Latino constituents, many of whom are immigrants themselves, or have immigrant family members and close friends.

Por otro lado—and there is no way to overemphasize this—Latino constituents must continue to organize more effectively and must, must, must work harder to develop relationships with their elected officials in order to educate them more proactively on Latino policy issues. These are two requisite conditions in order to appropriately improve our communities’ educational, health care, economic and political outcomes. Don’t overlook them.

But truthfully, other than the above, Ohio’s Super Tuesday was loathsomely mundane. My good friend, David Little, accurately captured the day’s zeitgeist—and perhaps that of this entire primary season—as we walked into the Board of Elections that evening: “Geez!” he said. “I at least thought that the CNN van parked outside would draw some folks in!”

It didn’t. Those folks never came. Most of them never even voted. So much for “Super” Tuesday!


EDITOR’S NOTE: LATISM held a special Twitter Chat on Super Tuesday night, which broke all previous records of engagement for our chats to date. You can read the recap and download the transcript here.



Leo J. Pierson is a Public Sociologist who resides in the Cincinnati area. His Primary Research Areas: U.S. Immigration Policy & Politics. He’s also a contributor to LatinoVoices on The Huffington Post. You may find more about his work at https://www.onimmigration.com



  1. santothewriter@gmail.com'
    SantoTheWriter 8 years ago

    The problem with Super Tuesday is that it is no longer as important as it once was. So many states have changed the date of their primaries in order to maximize their impact that is has taken away from Super Tuesday. Once upon a time it really made a difference. Now with so many caucuses and primaries being held before things have changed. 

    I completely agree with your assessment. If we expect things to improve for our communities we need to be vocal and let politicians that we are here. Not just passive bystanders but ready, willing and able to use our collective forces to cause change.

  2. Monica Griffin 8 years ago

    Personally, I would love to see all primaries held on the same day across the country.  Mostly because I’m tired of listening to the media handicapping these races like the Preakness.  I fear it influences how some people vote, or if they even vote at all.

    Another great article, Leo.

  3. ana@premiersocialmedia.com'
    AnaRC 8 years ago

    Great post Leo! I agree with Monica, it’s all becoming a big show.  Much better if it all happened one day.  You’re so right about the two requisites.  We don’t lobby enough and often we don’t even know who is representing us or what he/she stands for.  Much less we make them aware of the needs of our community.  This is the reason #Latism is raising a loud voice.  We need to be a tool for our gente to speak up and share their stories, fears, ambitions.  This is also the reason why you are writing this post.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.

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