American Samoa, like the other unincorporated territories, can’t vote in presidential elections. But they do hold a primary caucus and send delegates to the national conventions, just as Puerto Rico does. On Super Tuesday, Samoa surprised the nation by snubbing President Joe Biden, handing him the first loss in a primary by a sitting president since Jimmy Carter.

Doing the math

Only 91 people voted in Samoa’s primary caucus. 40 of these voters chose Biden, who has won all the other primaries so far. But 51 of the Samoa voters chose Jason Palmer, a previously unknown long shot candidate. This gave Palmer 56% of the vote — a majority. Of the six delegates in play, three went to Biden and three to Palmer.

These are not the kind of numbers that change the outcome of an election. However, the number of votes is not an issue in U.S. elections. Whoever gets the most votes is the winner. Palmer is the winner of the Samoa caucus.

Some readers may be wondering how it is that Samoa gets to vote in primaries at all, since they are U.S. nationals rather than citizens. Samoa got the vote in primaries in 1981.

Who is Jason Palmer?

Jason Palmer is a Baltimore resident. Although he has never visited Samoa, he did campaign there via Zoom. His work experience is in tech, including time at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft. He is currently partner at New Markets Venture Partners, which is a venture capital firm.

He funded his campaign himself, and made it onto the ballots of 16 states and territories. Palmer said that he intends to continue his campaign.

The Baltimore Sun claims that “Baltimore resident Jason Palmer found faraway primary where he could win against President Joe Biden.”

Not Samoa’s first anti-Biden vote

In the 2020 presidential primaries, Samoa also did not choose Biden. That year, the majority voted for Michael Bloomberg.



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