Super (Crazy) Tuesday

Icons of politics and American ElectionsThis year’s election of the next president of the United States has been one of the strangest – perhaps “craziest” is a better word – in the past 100 years.

Today is called Super Tuesday, a day when several state elections take place that will help determine who will eventually be our next president. (If you want to understand more about how we elect our president, I strongly suggest you read my explanation from the 2008 election here and listen to English Cafe #118.)

Instead of trying to explain this year’s race (competition; election) in detail, I’ll attempt to define a few key phrases or terms you might read in articles about the election in American newspapers and websites.

Exit Polls – These are opinion polls (questions; surveys) that are given to people on the day of an election. Many newspapers and TV channels try to find out who people voted for (and why) after they have actually voted (and therefore when they are “exiting” or leaving the place of voting). This allows them to declare (announce; tell people) the winner before the official (actual) votes have all been counted, and to understand the reasons people voted the way they did.

Super PACs – These are large (“super”) political action committees, which are independent groups that run (pay for) political advertisements on behalf of (for the advantage of) some political candidate or cause (idea). Super PACs can spend much more money on advertising than most political candidates can themselves, often millions and millions of dollars.

Some people think these organizations have too much money and too much power. Others think that they don’t really matter very much this year, since some candidates whom the Super PACs have supported have done very poorly (such as Jeb Bush), while other candidates who have received almost no support from Super PACs have done very well (such as Bernie Sanders).

Firewall – Normally, a firewall is wall or section of a building that is built to prevent fire from moving from one part of the building to another. In this election cycle (period of elections), it has been used to describe a state or set of states in which a candidate thinks he or she has very strong support and therefore will not lose.

For example, Hillary Clinton has received a lot of support from African American (black) voters, so states in which there are many such voters (such as South Carolina and others in the Deep South) are part of her “firewall” that will protect her from “’burning” (Bern-ing?) down – that is, losing the election.

The Establishment – These are the (usually paid) leaders and organizers of the Republican and Democratic parties, along with other political “professionals” who run and control the party organizations. Most work and live in Washington, D.C.

Many people believe that the success of some of the candidates this year, especially Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, is because people want someone “outside” of the Establishment. They want someone who will “blow up” or destroy the normal way of doing politics in the U.S. and try something different.

The Base – These are the most loyal voters for each political party, the ones who will usually give the most time or money to the party to ensure (make sure) it will win. In the Democratic Party, these are those who are mostly on the political Left; in the Republican Party, those most on the political Right. In order to win the nomination (the right to represent the party in the main or “general” election in November), a candidate has to win the base of his or her party first, since they are the ones who normally vote in the elections that decide who represents the party (that is, the elections going on right now, called the primaries).

Front-runner – This is the person who is currently the most popular candidate. Right now, Hillary Clinton is the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, and Donald Trump is the front-runner for the Republicans. However, all of that could change in the next few months, and of course the Americans who do not support either Clinton or Trump hope it will.


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20 Responses to Super (Crazy) Tuesday

  1. Dan says:

    Hello everyone.

    I am very interested and entertained by this year’s election and since I am an observer from the outside and I needed the help of someone to break it down, explain what is going on for me, I started following Ben Shapiro and listening to his podcast.

    Personally, I would not vote for Hillary or Sanders and that is because they do not publicly condemn and distance themselves from ridicule movements like “Black Lives matter”
    Trump? I don’t know…I do not trust artificially oranged people.

    Thanks Jeff

  2. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    I am not fond of politics and I don’t like it. Politicians are people who have interest only in themselves.

  3. Pete says:

    Hey Jeff,

    The race has been the craziest and most controversial presidential race.
    However , what fuels the madness is the brawling that has been going on since day one amongst the republican candidates trying to slow down trump as the front runner of the race.
    Other republican candidate literally ganged up on him. They attack his position in the race every chance they get by questioning his credentials, political stance and above all his peculiar way of insulting people from the get-go.
    And , trump has never backed down.
    His talkbacks are as fierce , as insulting , and not even remotely resonates the potential u expect to see in a representative of a great nation.

    They keep faulting one another on many fronts and most of all blaming trump for being born with a golden spoon in his month.
    To me , the sad thing about all this is , you don’t see any intellectual debates about the path the candidates will take to better the country if they win the office.
    Instead all u hear is a battery of insults, name callings , and roughhousing as if a bunch of kids were fighting over a coveted toy.

    It is deploring to see how representatives of a established political party in such an advanced country has no respect towards the highest office and one another.
    They call one another all names in the book and allegedly accuse one another of a lot of wrong doings.

    I personally think , they should stop the pathetic mudslinging and starting to discuss the direction they will take if God forbid they win the office.

    Man , they stop at nothing to pull one another’s name through the mud.

    Well , In all fairness ,they put on a good tv show , i give them that.

    I say, the unreasonable smear campaign must stop. They must end the showdown and get real!!!

    On the liberal side , things couldn’t be smoother.
    Sure U see the candidates rough each other up.
    Well , there is some amount of smear going on too. There is no denying it. The gloves are off.
    however , u don’t see them burn off their energy trying to dig up dirt and pass one another an slew of groundless, childish accusations.
    They argue over their political views , their agendas , their proposals and all other stuff.
    They question one another credentials to delivering the set proposal and promises on the most troubled areas such as college education , health care and whatnot as their attempt to rack up votes and attract people to the polls.

    I say, their debates are logical , intellectual and pretty much what you expect from rivals at the world stage.

    They compete a competition worthy of the highest office.

    As an outsider , all I can do is to offer my take on the post.
    And , that I did.

    Thanks chief
    I really enjoyed the post

    U never failed to be my personal hero.

    A huge fan


  4. Tania says:


    Very, very useful explanations to me, as our TV news have borrowed many of these phrases.
    I am interested in politics, I could say that it is my hobby.
    Thank you.

    All the best for you,


  5. Tania says:


    “I will be the gladdest thing
    Under the sun!
    I will touch a hundred flowers
    And not pick one.

    I will look at cliffs and clouds
    With quiet eyes,
    Watch the wind bow the grass
    And the grass rise.”

    Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  6. Tania says:


    In my country, the first of March is a special day, the first day of spring.
    We send wishes to our friends.

    Have a good and nice spring, “be the gladdest thing under the sun”, and
    hope as watching “the wind bow the grass, the grass rise” !

    All the best to our teachers, ESL Podcast team , and our blog friends.


  7. Pete says:

    Well , trump finished super Tusday strong.
    His continuous victories against all odds has grabbed headlines not just in North America but in Europ and other countries across the world.
    Well , personally speaking I think , his breath of appeals comes from the fact that American people are tired of long standing battled of titans within the established parties.
    So this time around They are looking for somebody outside of the political spectrum to lead the country.
    Perhaps , People tired of all empty promises and couroptions hopping somebody who can’t be manipulated by money unified an otherwise devided country.

    The mainstream is demanding change. Hope the change is what they will get.


  8. jetlee says:

    Thanks for a good post, Jeff.
    You said this year’s presidential election is the craziest (you said so in the previous post too).
    But you did not give the reason why this year is the craziest.
    Something very unusual is happening?
    Hopefully, I expect you to tell the story in a later post.

  9. Tania says:


    Dear Jetlee, glad to see you among us, the blog friends.
    I agree with you, but I am sure that we’ll receive a lot of information on presidential elections
    in the next issue of the Learn English Magazine.
    I am waiting for it.

  10. Tania says:

    In the last number of the Learn English Magazine we can read many things
    about “singles”, a new word to me.
    Where to meet singles in the U.S. , a single woman or a single man?
    Click on The Boston Globe newspaper and we find the article “A Singles Map of the U.S.”,
    our chances of finding the right partner.
    Interesting idea of “a singles map”, “mating market” and labor market.

    Thank you, dear Jeff.

  11. Tania says:

    I like and Warren’s article “You Collect What?”, and
    humor “Milk Eggs Vodka” grocery lists lost and found by Bill Keaggy.
    Is it about Russian vodka?
    You end the article saying , “I’m not sure I want to come over to your house for dinner!”.
    First I have read “I am sure I want to come…”

  12. Tania says:


    There is a Benjamin Franklin’s quote in English With Your Coffee, Learn English Magazine No.2/ 2016.
    Reading Benjamin Franklin Quotes, I have found your favorite quotes:

    “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

    “In this world nothing can be said to be certain , except death and taxes.”

  13. Tania says:


    May I say my favorite Benjamin Franklin quote?

    “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

    Thank you for English Cafe 542 about Benjamin Franklin.

  14. Tania says:

    I like the Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sonnets.


    All I could see from where I stood
    Was three long mountains and a wood;
    I turned and and look the other way,
    And saw three islands in a bay.

    A wonderful childish rhyme, in my opinion.

  15. Tania says:


    Mindful of you the Sodden Earth in Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay

    Mindful of you the sodden earth in spring
    And all the flowers that in the spring time grow.
    Or watch the wind , or listen to the beat
    Of a bird’s wings too high in air to view…

  16. Pete says:

    U r the best and the brightest !!!
    I really enjoyed the latest issue of learning guid.

    Thanks Eslpod for the job well done.
    Joining learning guid has opened a new realm for me.

    Eslpod fandom
    Join ur comrades in learning guid front.

    A leaning guide member


  17. Dan says:

    Hello again guys, how are you today?

    I must confess I have been enjoying this year’s election very much. This is fun.
    Every day I am inpatient of hearing the new podcast from the Ben Shapiro show in order to see what happened.
    By the way, on today’s podcast as Ben always does, he tells about something he likes.
    I thought about sharing this one with you guys, he suggested a musical called 1776 the musical.
    They played a clip of it and sounds good.
    I am not sure they ever suggested it here at ESL, maybe they did, I do not remember.
    It is on youtube and it’s about the foundations of the US I guess, and it was written by a history professor.
    Ben said it is especially good for kids. I am going to watch it soon, maybe over/during this weekend.


  18. Dan says:

    Hey everyone SORRY me again.

    Just to tell you guys I just took this online test called Political Compass because I was curious to see where I am on the so called quadrant.
    It is telling me that I am a right libertarian.
    I am almost in the middle of the square slightly on the right towards the libertarian side.

    If anyone wants to try it is called The Political Compass.


  19. Pete says:

    Hey mate

    Whatever u do is working bro,

    U are doing great !!!

    Keep at it!

    I m intrigued

    I will give it a go

    I will take a look at the dude ‘s work
    The YouTube dude I mean


    Keep up the good work ,Dan

    A Learning guid member ,


  20. Pete says:

    Hey Comrade Dan 🙂

    I m following the presidential race too

    well, I m using a different medium than you.
    I m plugged in mostly to Tv and papers.

    U know ,you can follow its development closely throug a variety of cable channels up here.

    Good thing about it is ,u don’t pay for the channels indivudually. It is more of a package deal.

    U get an assortment of tv channels in bundle for a fixed monthly payment.
    Of course ,u can mount the individual channels u like to ur package. U know ,it like u piggy back them on ur package; at least ,I think of them that way.

    It is exactly what I did back in supper bawl days. I rented an sport channel for one month that was specifically following all the development, controversial stories ,commentary coverage by commentators around the super bawl match. And ,let me tell u ,I paid a pretty penny for it.

    U know the bundle I have is basic.
    I pay 45 plus tax for it every month. The sport center channel I rented for one month cost me 15 plus tax alone.
    See , it is not economy to get individual channels. It adds a lot to the monthly fee.
    It is like the cost piles on.

    Just recently ,the cable companies out there came up with a very tempting packages called skiny packages.
    The ideas is they offer packages with less channels among which u can choose.
    good thing about the new program is :
    Well ,as u may guess ,They are cheaper. Besides ,the program allows you to stick to the channels that u that I mean the channels u watch like everyday.

    U know ,the downside of regular ,standard packages Is that typically the bundle u get includes 40/50 channels most of which u never tune to. By that I mean ,you never watch some of the channels u pay for monthly. But , U pay for them anyway.
    The newly launch skinny packages remedy the problem.

    I m switching to skinny packages. They launched last Monday. By that I mean , they were put on market last Monday.

    I called in and discussed terms and conditions with the rep behind the phone last Monday.
    I m home now waiting for the technician to come in and switch me to the skinny package I ordered.
    Guess what !!
    Starting this month ,I m paying 30 plus tax and get more focused channels to my liking.
    U know ,my tv is the focal point of my living room ,more precisely my existence :))
    I get myself hook up to tv After retiring home from work every evening.
    Literally ,I flop on my coach and flip through channels and never get off till the bed time.
    I got around 20 channels one of which is all about politics.

    A learning guide member

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