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Oxford's Rothermere American Institute to host Democratic primary on 'Super Tuesday'

Oxford to host polling station for US election's 'Super Tuesday'

Matt Pickles

Oxford's Rothermere American Institute (RAI) is playing a key role in analysing the US election for a UK audience.

In The Independent last week, Professor Nigel Bowles and Dr Ursula Hackett analysed the chances of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Tomorrow, on 'Super Tuesday', the RAI will play an even more active role in the election: it will host the polling station for the Democrat Global Presidential Primary from 12pm to 7pm.

The Global Presidential Primary is a key element in the Democrat primary process. At stake are 21 delegates (similar in size to the state delegations of Wyoming and Alaska) that will help decide the party's nominee.

One of the high-profile US citizens casting their vote at the Oxford polling station will be Larry Sanders - the brother of Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders. Mr Sanders will available at midday for interviews.

Expatriate voters have played a decisive role in the outcome of several key political contests in the US - including the 2000 Presidential election, according to a new report from the RAI.

Republicans Overseas, who will also be present for a panel discussion at the RAI event, does not offer a comparable global primary or formal representation at the party convention for registered Republican expat voters (though Republicans can vote in their home state primaries through absentee ballots, as can Democrats who choose this option rather than participating in the Democratic Global Primary).

It appears that overseas Republican voters differ from those in the United States. A recent Republican Overseas poll showed less support for Donald Trump than in the US. The leading candidate among expat Republicans was Marco Rubio.

Professor Jay Sexton, Director of the RAI, said: 'Both the Democrats and the Republicans should not be complacent about the importance of US overseas voters. For the Democrats in particular, these voters will help to determine both the Clinton vs. Sanders primary on Super Tuesday and the general election in November.

'But it's not just the primaries where these American expats should be taken seriously. Overseas voting was critical to putting George W. Bush into the White House in 2000, and if things are tight, could be just as important in the 2016 election too.

'As our report shows, candidates – and parties – ignore overseas voters at their peril.'

As part of the day's activities, the RAI will host a panel discussion entitled 'The Mobilization of Voters Overseas' at 12.30pm. Professor Sexton will moderate discussion between Bill Barnard of Democrats Abroad and Stacy Hilliard, former Vice-Chair of Republicans Abroad.