WASHINGTON – About a third of the delegates needed to secure the Democratic presidential nomination are up for grabs in the voting bonanza known as Super Tuesday. 

To put it in perspective, there were 155 pledged delegates available in the race's first four contests, which were the obsession of the candidates, voters, pundits and political prognosticators for the month of February. On Super Tuesday, 1,344 delegates are for the taking – as well as 13 delegates representing Americans abroad, who have a week to vote beginning Tuesday.

If a candidate can secure 1,991 or more of the 3,979 delegates available in all the primary contests before the Democratic National Convention on July 13, the nomination is theirs. 

Those numbers help explain why billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg decided to skip Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to focus his half-billion-dollar advertising blitz on the March 3 states. 

Five candidates are still in the hunt: former Vice President Joe Biden, Bloomberg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Some of them may not be there after Tuesday's voting. 

Sanders leads in the delegate count after the first four contests, but Biden closed to within eight with his decisive win Saturday in South Carolina. Will Sanders put the nomination out of reach after Tuesday's voting, or will Biden have enough momentum out of the Palmetto State to keep the race competitive? What effect will Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer bowing out have on the race? How will Bloomberg's unorthodox approach pay off?


Delegates up for grabs: 52

What to watch: Polls on the Alabama race have been few and far between, so it's unclear how the primary race is shaping up. The last survey, which was conducted in July, found Biden with an almost 20-percentage-point lead. The race has shifted profoundly in the seven months since then. 

Biden will be helped by his endorsement from the Alabama Democratic Conference – an influential African American political league. One of the biggest questions will be how many of the state's voters are drawn to Bloomberg after his bombardment of advertising. 

On the Republican side, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is fighting to win back his Senate seat in a battle with former college football coach Tommy Tuberville, Rep. Bradley Byrne and former judge Roy Moore. If none of them secures a majority, there will be a runoff between the top two finishers March 31. Whoever locks up the nomination will take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, who will face an uphill battle for reelection in the deeply red state. 


Delegates up for grabs: 31 

What to watch: One of the few polls on the race shows Bloomberg with a 1-point lead over Biden. The Talk Business & Politics/Hendrix College poll was conducted Feb. 6-7, before the former New York mayor's lackluster debate performances in Las Vegas and Charleston, South Carolina. 

Last month, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, the capital's first popularly elected African American mayor, endorsed Bloomberg for president. 

Early voting is underway in the state and continued through Monday. 


Delegates up for grabs: 415 

What to watch: Although it's the mother lode of delegates, candidates in past primaries did not always give California the love its millions of Democratic voters felt they deserved, because it did not vote until early June, when the races were generally already decided. 

So state Democrats moved up their primary to Super Tuesday, making the state critical to the candidates' chances.

A Suffolk University/USA TODAY statewide poll released Sunday found Sanders with the support of 35% of likely Democratic primary voters, well ahead of Bloomberg at 16%, Biden at 14% and Warren at 12%. 

Turnout among Latino voters – who represent a third of the state's eligible voters and only 15% of whom register Republican – is likely to be high. That is probably more good news for Sanders, who won more than half of Latino caucusgoers in neighboring Nevada on Feb. 22, according to entrance polls. 


Delegates up for grabs: 67 

What to watch: A few facts make Colorado's primary stand out: It conducts all-mail elections; it's one of the only Super Tuesday states with more unaffiliated voters than registered Republicans or Democrats; and this will be its first primary since ditching the caucus format after the 2016 election. 

Sanders, who won the state in 2016, appears poised to win it again. Two polls released last week found him with a double-digit lead. 

"I think you can predict that Bernie Sanders will likely do well," said Floyd Ciruli, a Denver-based pollster and analyst. "If he wins here, that will show that this state remains a state with a lot of voters who like to shake things up."


Delegates up for grabs: 24 

What to watch: Like Colorado, Maine ditched the caucus system and, for the first time in two decades, will hold a primary instead.

There hasn't been much polling on the Democratic race in the state, where Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by nearly 30 percentage points. One of the few, a Colby College poll conducted Feb. 10-13, found Sanders ahead at 25%, followed by Bloomberg at 14% and Biden at 12%.

That same poll found Sara Gideon, the speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, leading the Democratic primary to challenge GOP incumbent Sen. Susan Collins in the fall.

Collins, who seeks a fifth term, faces the toughest race of her Senate career in the moderately blue state after voting with President Donald Trump on controversial issues such as impeachment, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the tax cuts in 2017.


Delegates up for grabs: 91 

What to watch: Warren is in a fight to win her home state, according to a poll conducted by Suffolk University for the Boston Globe and WBZ-TV that found her with the support of 22% of likely Democratic primary voters, trailing Sanders at 24%.

They were followed by Bloomberg (13%), Biden (11%) and Gabbard (4%). 


Delegates up for grabs:75

What to watch: Sanders won the state in 2016 with 62% of the vote. This year, he has the endorsement of Rep. Ilhan Omar and the liberal group TakeAction Minnesota.

Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar's departure could pave the way for Sanders to walk away with the state's delegates, unless Klobuchar persuades the bulk of her supporters to cast their ballots for Biden, whom she endorsed.

North Carolina

Delegates up for grabs: 110

What to watch: Trump – who is crushing his lone primary opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – will hold a rally in Charlotte the night before the primary. 

Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, will be on the ballot in November, and Democratic primary voters will determine Tuesday who will take him on. 

The leading candidates to face Tillis are ex-state legislator Cal Cunningham, an Iraq War veteran who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate 10 years ago, and state Sen. Erica Smith. Cunningham has the backing of the national party over Smith, who is more liberal.

In the Democratic presidential race, polls show a tight race with Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg at the top.


Delegates up for grabs: 37

What to watch: Sanders has written legislation that would ban hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, which has brought a lot of revenue to Oklahoma but has been blamed for earthquakes and water pollution. Warren, an Oklahoma native, backs such a ban, as does Gabbard. 

Bloomberg held a narrow lead in one poll last month, and Biden held a small lead in the other. Both found Sanders close behind in second place. 

Money primary: Sanders holds Democratic fundraising lead in Oklahoma  


Delegates up for grabs:64

What to watch: Overall, Democrats are more moderate than their counterparts in other parts of the country. Clinton defeated Sanders by 2-to-1  in the state's 2016 primary. This year, the more moderate candidates put a greater emphasis on Tennessee, while the Sanders campaign dedicated relatively little time or resources in the state. 

John Geer, political science professor at Vanderbilt University and director of the Vanderbilt Poll, said Sanders could eke out a victory if moderates' votes are split. 


Delegates up for grabs: 228

What to watch: Texas – long a reliably Republican state and historically neglected by Democratic presidential candidates – suddenly finds itself in unfamiliar territory: a courted state in the middle of a heated Democratic presidential primary season.

The Lone Star State is a major prize, boasting the third-largest delegate count of the entire primary season, behind California and New York. 

Biden led in most polls on the Texas race through January (though by margins ranging from 1 to 20 percentage points), but four polls released this week all found Sanders ahead by 4 to 15 percentage points. 


Delegates up for grabs: 29

What to watch: Like California, Utah is a new addition to the Super Tuesday slate after moving up its primary. It is another state that ditched the caucus format for the presidential primaries after 2016 – although caucuses will still be held this year for other races.

Unaffiliated voters make up more than 20,000 of the 87,224 registered voters in the state, and they are able to vote in the Democratic primary. 

Sanders received nearly 80% of the vote in the 2016 caucuses. A Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll released Thursday found him leading as the choice of 28% of Utah's Democratic voters, ahead of Bloomberg (19%), Warren (15%) and Biden (6%). 


Delegates up for grabs: 16

What to watch: Sanders' home state is probably an easy pickup for the three-term senator (who was elected as the state's congressman eight times).

In 2016, Sanders beat Clinton in Vermont with 86% of the vote. 


Delegates up for grabs: 99

What to watch: Virginia, once a Republican stronghold, has shifted blue in recent elections. Its Democratic voters tend to lean more moderate, giving Clinton a nearly 30-point win over Sanders in 2016. 

Polling indicates moderates could split their votes between Biden and Bloomberg, who has put his ample resources to work in the state, opening more than a half-dozen offices. 

American Samoa Democratic caucuses 

Delegates up for grabs: 6

What to watch: Clinton won the U.S. territory in 2016 with nearly 73% of the vote to Sanders' 27%.

The polling site FiveThirtyEight gives Biden and Sanders roughly the same chances of winning the caucuses. 

Contributing: Susan Page, Rick Jervis, Gabrielle Canon, Joey Garrison, Marco della Cava and Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY; Jacy Marmaduke, The Coloradoan; Nora Hertel, St. Cloud (Minn.) Times; Lexi Peery, The Spectrum (St. George, Utah); Chris Casteel, The Oklahoman; Natalie Allison, The Tennessean; The Associated Press