American Samoa (also called the Territory of American Samoa) is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It took part in the 2020 Democratic Caucus on Super Tuesday, with 14 states on Super Tuesday (March 3, 2020).

The Republicans will hold their American Samoa convention on March 24, 2020. I will update this blog with the results of the Republican Caucus when the results are known.

Ballotpedia reported that American Samoa does not cast electoral votes for president of the United States, but it does hold primary nominating events.

…Territorial offers are nonpartisan, which means party registration to participate in nominating events is conducted by the parties, not the territorial government…

American Samoa has 11 Democratic delegates, which are comprised of 6 pledged delegates and 5 superdelegates. Delegate allocation is proportional. Candidates must receive at least 15% of the vote in order to qualify for the proportional allocation of delegates.

The American Samoa Democratic Caucus was closed. Only registered Democrats were able to participate.

American Samoa has 9 Republican delegates, which are comprised of 6 delegates and 3 superdelegates. Republican delegates are unbound, but the convention can provide instruction.

The American Samoa Republican convention will be closed, meaning only registered Republicans will be able to participate in it.


Details

On March 1, 2020, Samoa News posted an article titled: “Bloomberg campaign rolled out in American Samoa”. It was written by Fili Sagapolutele. From the article:

The US billionaire and Democratic Party presidential hopeful, Mike Bloomberg, has sent representatives to American Samoa to drum-up support in the party’s territorial caucus.

The caucus is in Pago Pago on ‘Super Tuesday’.

To ensure Mr. Bloomberg is visible to local members of his party, his campaigners have erected mid-size billboards at several locations on the main island of Tutuila. No word on if the Bloomberg campaign is paying to post these billboards.

There are even small posters, placed on the back windows of cars, announcing Mike Bloomberg 2020 Mo Amerika Samoa – or Mike Bloomberg 2020 for American Samoa.

Mr Bloomberg’s representatives also held a Teacher’s Townhall meeting in Pago Pago in Friday in which educators and the public were invited to discuss educational issues in American Samoa…

…The territorial caucuses are the only chance for American Samoans to have a say in the US presidential race.

Persons born in American Samoa are US Nationals under federal law but cannot vote in presidential elections.

On March 3, 2020, Mike Bloomberg tweeted: “Our incredible team in American Samoa, who call themselves “Protectors of the Earth,” not only got out the vote but took time out of their day to clean up a park. Together, we will elect a president who believes in climate change. Thank you for all you’re doing.”

The tweet included a photo of two people who are wearing “Mike Bloomberg 2020” t-shirts. One is holding a trash bag. They appear to be on the coastline of American Samoa. The scenery around them and behind them is lovely.

On March 4, 2020, Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted an article titled: “Bloomberg’s hope for Super Tuesday splash lands in Pacific”. It was written by Michelle L. Price and Fili Sagapoutele. From the article:

What does more than $500 million get you? For Mike Bloomberg, it was 175 winning votes in this U.S. territory – a group of Pacific islands with lush vegetation and stunning coastlines some 7,200 miles from where he once served as New York City’s mayor.

Bloomberg’s lone primary victory in American Samoa, population 55,000, was an unorthodox and inauspicious culmination to a much-hyped but short-lived Democratic presidential campaign marked by unprecedented spending designed to make a splash in Super Tuesday states…

…Bloomberg on Tuesday won half of the 351 Democrats voting in the American Samoa caucus, picking up five delegates before he dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden on Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who was born in American Samoa, received one delegate. Bloomberg’s decisive win over the local-born Gabbard was startling, but the Hawaii congresswoman had a late start campaigning in the territory compared with the billionaire.

Bloomberg installed seven full-time staff members in American Samoa in recent weeks – more than any other campaign – and bought up billboards and ads on television, online, in print and on the radio – including Samoan language ads.

He even picked up an endorsement Monday from Samoan Chief Fa’alagiga Nina Tua’au-Glaude, who cited Bloomberg’s work spending millions to fight climate change that the chief says will be devastating to the islands.

Patrick Ti’a Reid, a local Bloomberg staffer, said the campaign set up voter events where they pitched his policy plans to locals and helped organize a trash cleanup at a local coastal park over the weekend….

…Tony Langkilde, who helped campaign for Gabbard, said her campaign began in earnest just three days before Super Tuesday.

“I got a call from Tulsi’s father in Honolulu,” Langkilde said. “We actually started Friday to work on a local campaign.”

Langkilde said he met with Gabbard’s brother, who lives in America Samoa, and began putting together print and radio ads in both English and Samoan. They printed shirts, visors, and launched a social media campaign that Langkildr said garnered a lot of attention. Gabbard sent a video to rally supporters…

…The territory’s residents are U.S. nationals but not citizens, which leaves them unable to vote in presidential elections, but allows them to participate in presidential primary contests run by political parties….

On March 4, 2020, Bloomberg.com posted an article titled: “Michael Bloomberg Ends Presidential Bid, Endorses Joe Biden”. It was written by Mark Niquette. From the article:

Michael Bloomberg endorsed Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination as he ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday and pledged to continue working to defeat President Donald Trump.

Bloomberg said in a New York speech that after the results of the Super Tuesday voting, he no longer had a viable path to the nomination and didn’t want to hurt the party’s chances,

He had spent a record $687 million of his own money on the effort, but Biden dominated the Super Tuesday vote, winning 10 states of 14. Bloomberg earned at least 53 delegates, compared to 566 for Biden.

“I entered the race for president to defeat Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said. “And today, I am leaving the race for the same reason – to defeat Donald Trump, because staying in would make it more difficult to achieve that goal.”…

…It’s clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden,” and he asked his supporters to help Biden win the general election….

…He has vowed to keep spending money and put the formidable infrastructure he built for his campaign in key battleground states at the service of the nominee…

…Bloomberg joined the contest late, on November 24, but quickly rose in the polls to a top-tier candidate and a slot on the debate stages. He aided that rise by building ground operation with more than 2,400 staffers and 200 offices across 43 states and territories.

He also flooded the television airwaves with more than $550 million in advertising over the course of his candidacy, all self-funded. Nearly 60% of Americans said they had seen one of his television or digital ads, polls showed…


Controversies

On January 21, 2020, VICE News posted an article title: “Mike Bloomberg Gave the DNC $300K Two Days Before He Entered the 2020 Race”. It was written by Paul Blest. From the article:

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg got some great news Friday. The Democratic National Committee announced it would drop its donor requirement for its February 19 debate, meaning Bloomberg, who is self-funding his 2020 presidential campaign, could qualify for the debate stage for the first time.

That change follows a spike in Bloomberg’s national polling as he’s blanketed the country in ads in an explicit strategy to focus on the post-February states. It also comes several months after Bloomberg gave $300,000 to the DNC in three donations on the same day in November.

Bloomberg’s Democratic competitors, already criticizing him for buying his way into the election, blasted the DNC for changing the rules in a way that appears to favor one candidate: Bloomberg…

…Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who skipped the December debate, said on Twitter that Bloomberg “bought the DNC.”

Bloomberg made three separate donations of $106,500 to the Democratic National Committee on Nov. 19, 2019, according to Federal Election Commission records. Individuals are allowed to donate up to $106,500 to each national party account in the 2019-2020 election cycle, according to FEC contribution limit guidelines

…In addition to the donations made directly to the DNC, Bloomberg also made an $800,000 donation that same day to the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, a joint fundraising PAC between the DNC and state Democratic parties around the country which was established in 2017. Bloomberg also donated hundreds of thousands to state parties around the country in November, according to FEC records…

…Bloomberg filed his statement of candidacy on November 21, two days following the contributions, and officially launched his campaign on November 24…

On January 31, 2020, NBC News posted an article titled: “New DNC debate rules open door for Mike Bloomberg to make stage”. It was written by Alex Seitz-Wald. From the article:

New debate qualification rules by the Democratic National Committee will open a path for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to participate in the party’s Feb. 19 debate, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

The new rules require candidates to get at least one delegate out of either the upcoming Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire’s primary, or to register 10 percent support in four national polls or 12 percent in two single-state polls of Nevada and South Carolina.

The party scrapped, for the first time, the grassroots donor threshold, which has required candidates in every other debate thus far to received donations from tens of thousands of supporters to qualify. That opens the door to Bloomberg, a multibillionaire who is funding his own campaign and has refused to accept any donations for his campaign…

…The Bloomberg campaign hailed the new rules, though the candidate still needs to climb in the polls to actually make the debate…

On February 18, 2020, NBC News posted an article titled: “Bloomberg qualifies for next Democratic debate”. It was written by Dareh Gregorian, Ben Kamisar and Allen Smith. From the article:

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg on Tuesday qualified for his first appearance in a Democratic presidential primary debate.

The billionaire media mogul received 19 percent of support from an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll, allowing him to join the stage for the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas…

…Candidates need four national polls showing 10 percent or higher support or 12 percent or more in two single-state polls of Nevada and South Carolina. They have until 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 18 to qualify for the debate, which is being hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, and the Nevada Independent.

Candidates can also qualify by winning at least one delegate from the Iowa caucus or the New Hampshire primary. To date, former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigeig, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, have all qualified for the state, according to an unofficial NBC News survey…

On March 3, 2020, Xochitl Hinojosa, Communications Director for the Democratic National Committee, tweeted: “We have two more debates — of course the threshold will go up. By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has”

On March 5, 2020, Heavy posted an article titled: “DNC Will Raise Debate Threshold After Tulsi Gabbard Earns Two Delegates”. It was written by Stephanie Dube Dwilson. From the article:

An official with the DNC has announced on Twiter that the threshold for participating in a Democratic debate will be increased. This announcement was made around the same time that American Samoa caucus rewarded Tulsi Gabbard with a delegate after she earned 29.3 percent of the votes with 99 percent reporting. (Since then, Gabbard has been confirmed to have two delegates.) The DNC’s debate threshold had allowed anyone to qualify to be in a debate if they gained one delegate in a primary or caucus, but the tweet from an official with the DNC indicates that might change.

Xochitl Hinojosa, the communications director for the Democratic Party according to her Twitter account, tweeted about the threshold changes on Twitter…

…Her tweet, which specifically references the delegate counts, seems to indicate that the delegate threshold will increase. However, she didn’t go into more details about how that might change.

The comment was made around the same time that people began speculating online that Gabbard could have a place on the debate stage now that she has earned a delegate. The next two debates will be in March and April. The March debate will be in Phoenix on March 15, two days before the primary in Arizona. That debate will be hosted by CNN and Univision, with CHC Bold of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus…

Results of the 2020 American Samoa Democratic Caucus

On March 3, 2020, NBC News tweeted: “BREAKING: Mike Bloomberg wins American Samoa Democratic Caucus, NBC News projects.” The tweet included a link to their website. It also includes a photo of Mike Bloomberg with American Samoa printed above his photo, and a yellow box with a check mark in it next to him.

On March 5, 2020, Cullen Tiernan, Tulsi Gabbard’s press assistant, tweeted: “American Samoa Democratic Party Confirms @TulsiGabbard Wins Two Delegates. WASHINGTON – Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard received confirmation that today she won two delegates during the Super Tuesday election in American Samoa after a strong second place finish there.

The tweet included a photo of Tulsi Gabbard holding what appears to be a bible. She is wearing a garland of flowers. She is shaking hands with a woman who is not facing the camera. It appears the photo may have been taken when Tulsi Gabbard was sworn into Congress.

Also on March 5, 2020, Cullen Tiernan tweeted: “Our campaign has been in touch with the American Samoa Democratic Party, and it has been confirmed to us that Tulsi received two pledged delegates, not one as has been previously reported,” said campaign spokesperson Cullen Tiernan.

That tweet was folllowed by another tweet: “The Gabbard campaign is requesting all media outlets to correct their delegate counters to reflect this confirmation. Tulsi remains focused on bringing her campaign message directly to the American people.

CNN is the only source I could find with correct results of the 2020 American Samoa Democratic Caucus.

  • Mike Bloomberg: 175 votes – 49.9% – 4 delegates
  • Tulsi Gabbard: 103 votes – 29.3% – 2 delegates
  • Bernie Sanders: 37 votes – 10.5% – 0 delegates
  • Joe Biden: 31 votes – 8.8% – 0 delegates
  • Elizabeth Warren: 5 votes – 1.4% – 0 delegates

On March 4, 2020: Mike Bloomberg posted a Statement on his campaign website titled: “Statement by Mike Bloomberg”. From the Statement:

Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.

I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists. But I remain clear-eyed about my overriding objective: victory in November. Not for me, but four our country. And so while I will not be the nominee, I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life.

Ive always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden…


What Happened in the 2020 American Samoa Caucuses is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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