MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s top political leaders are predicting a strong turnout next week at the Minnesota caucuses.
The leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties say it could even rival the record turnout in 2008.
“The delegates at stake next Tuesday, it’s a large number,” Minnesota GOP Party Chair Keith Downey said. “Minnesota will be part of a night where logically you can conclude the nominees, or at least the finalists, will be determined on both sides.”
Both parties are holding caucuses on March 1 as part of 11 Super Tuesday contests in the presidential races. And about half of the delegates for the presidential nominating conventions are up for grabs.
Party leaders have secured extra ballots, more meeting rooms and volunteers.
A lot is at stake for those 11 states with a huge number of delegates.
“As it pertains to caucus states, we’re one of the largest prizes,” Minnesota DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said. “And in terms of our nominating process, this is a really important piece of the jigsaw puzzle.”
Both parties will take a presidential straw poll and start picking convention delegates; Democrats have 93 and Republicans have 38.
And there is no clear leader right now in either party, which could boost caucus participation even higher.
“There will be a big push over the next few days to make sure we are ready for potentially a record turnout,” Downey said.
With so many states in the mix March 1, Republican leaders say it is unclear whether any GOP candidates will campaign in Minnesota during the next few days.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spoke to almost 1,600 supporters at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Tuesday.
Democrats say it is still unconfirmed, but Hillary Clinton could make it here one more time before Super Tuesday. Bernie Sanders will be campaigning in Hibbing on Friday. They were both in Minnesota 11 days ago.