Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were named the winners in the respective Democratic Nevada caucus and Republican South Carolina primary on Saturday, Feb. 20.
Trump and Clinton won the popular vote in the respective states that night. Clinton won 52.6 percent of the Democratic vote, whereas Trump won 32.5 percent, of the Republican vote, according to The Associated Press.
These two elections, the first of the season that are in different states, come at the the beginning of the race. However, these early races help narrow down the field.
A candidate becomes the party’s nominee when they receive the most delegates of all the candidates in that party.
For Democrats, these also include “superdelegates,” which are unelected officials that vote for whomever they desire at the party’s national convention.
Leading into Super Tuesday, the day in which the most states are holding their primary elections, Clinton and Trump are leading in the total number of delegates. This year, Super Tuesday takes place on March 1.
Ultimately, the delegate counts for each candidate matter more than a candidate winning one specific state or another. For example, despite Bernie Sander’s massive victory in the New Hampshire primary and close losses in the Iowa and Nevada caucuses, he still faces a challenge in beating his opponent, according to The New York Times.
The future Democratic nominee will need 2,382 delegates to win. Currently, including announced superdelegates, Clinton has 502 delegates, and Bernie Sanders has 70, according to The Associated Press.
It is likely this large discrepancy will continue to grow, especially with the upcoming primary in South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday. Partially due to high African American population in that state, a Clinton win seems likely.
Furthermore, many of the states holding elections on Super Tuesday have high Hispanic and African-American populations, which will also advantage Clinton, according to The New York Times.
Prior to the GOP Nevada caucus, RealClearPolitics noted that Trump was leading in the polls regarding the caucus with a 39 percent majority. Cruz trailed him with 23 percent, Rubio had 19 percent, Kasich had nine percent and Carson had five percent.
In regard to the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, prior to the Nevada caucus, a RealClearPolitics poll placed Trump in the lead with 33.6 percent, while Cruz followed behind with 20.4 percent. In the same poll, Rubio received 16.4 percent, Kasich received 9.8 percent and Carson received 7.4 percent.
Editor’s Note: Information from Bloomberg, The Associated Press, RealClearPolitics and The New York Times was used in this report.