MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Thousands of Minnesotans crowded into caucus sites around the state on Super Tuesday. Some of the voices in the crowd, explaining their thoughts on the GOP and Democratic presidential hopefuls:

Amy Shaunette, 28, of Minneapolis, said she voted for Bernie Sanders for a number of reasons: His vow to tackle income inequality and his tough stance on Wall Street, the feeling of hope he gives her and his appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show among them. She said Hillary Clinton may be a safer bet to beat Republicans in November, but she’s willing to take the risk and vote with her heart.

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“We’re probably screwed either way,” she said. “It’s all a mess. We might as well have someone that I really believe in at the center of the mess.”


Steven Trobiani, a 65-year-old neurologist at a GOP caucus at Maple Grove Middle School, said he was voting for Marco Rubio because he believes the Democratic and Republican parties have abandoned the middle class.

“Marco Rubio appears to be a candidate who has taken up the mantle of representation of the middle class, and I think we desperately need that,” he said.

Trobiani said if Rubio doesn’t secure the nomination he will vote for anyone who won’t bring the country farther to the left ideologically, including Donald Trump.

“Unfortunately, yes,” Trobiani said.


Chelsey McKinney, 21, of Minneapolis, went to her first caucus torn between supporting Clinton and Sanders. McKinney, who is black, said Sanders is stronger on issues she cares about like supporting Black Lives Matter. But she said she’s drawn to Clinton’s political experience.

“He doesn’t mince his words,” McKinney said. “But Hillary Clinton, she knows politics. If she were anywhere in the White House, I would feel comfortable because I know that she gets the game.”


Sonja Trombley, 46, of St. Paul, who works part-time in customer support at a print distributor, arrived early at Cretin-Derham High School with her husband, Tim Trombley, a maintenance worker, and their toddler son, Eli. Sonja Trombley said it was her first caucus and described herself as having “strong Republican roots.”

“We’ve had debates on Trump, and just kind of the influence he’s having right now. So we’re like, do we go for the next two that are right in competition with him, or do we go for Ben Carson, who we strongly support, and then that won’t have an impact with that. So we’re wrestling with that.”

She said Trump “is an option, but he’s just not our first option.”

“He’s kind of — and a lot of people like that — but he’s kind of a loose cannon,” she said of Trump.

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Billy Todd, 52, a retired Army veteran who works in customer service at the Twin Cities Airport, attended his first caucus with his wife, Sandy, in St. Paul. Todd, who is black, wore a Trump sticker on his sweater and planned to vote for him. He said he thinks Trump would be strong.

“I want an outsider in the White House,” he said. “I don’t want no establishment part of the White House.”

He said Trump “really loves America” and “knows how to bring jobs back to America.”

“He didn’t serve in the military, but he has the credentials of a businessperson,” Todd said of Trump. “America’s losing jobs left and right every day.”

“The middle class has been beaten up the last few years,” said Todd. “And we’ve taken a significant pounding. And it’s getting crazy.”


Patrick Krieger, 22, of St. Paul just graduated last year from Loras College, a small Catholic school in Dubuque, Iowa. He was going to participate in his first Minnesota caucus after voting for Mitt Romney in the Iowa precinct caucuses in 2012.

Krieger, a Roman Catholic, said he planned to vote for Marco Rubio.

“I really admire just him as a person and what he stands for, his conservative values, his focus on pro-life, and I think he has the best chance to beat Hillary Clinton in November.”

He saw Rubio as the Republican with the best chance to beat Trump, though he said he likes Trump.

“I agree with most of what he says. (But) he doesn’t know where the line is.”


Robert and Jane Kohls, a retired policeman and registered nurse, caucused in Maple Grove in support of Rubio. They said they thought he seems like an honest person and has good values. Both said they liked Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, but neither said they would support businessman Donald Trump.

Jane Kohls said she thought Donald Trump was a “terrible” candidate, and said that if he became the nominee for the Republican Party, she would “reluctantly” vote for the Democratic candidate for president.

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