By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A little more than 7 days from now Minnesota will be part of Super Tuesday — a day that could be pivotal in deciding the Democratic nominee.

So far in the early contests Senator Bernie Sanders has emerged as the frontrunner.

14 states, including Minnesota, will award more than 13-hundred delegates. That’s 34% of the total number. Polls show Sanders running first, or a close second, in all of these states.

Senator Bernie Sanders has won Nevada, New Hampshire and the popular vote in Iowa.

Polls show him poised to win big on Super Tuesday doing well even here in Minnesota.

A Star Tribune/MPR Minnesota poll shows Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar leading Sanders here 29 to 23 percent but that is within the margin of error of plus or minus 4.5%.

“She probably has a slight lead, but she is expected to win this state and she should win this state and the fact that it is relatively close in Minnesota should be a concern for her,” Professor David Schultz said.

Hennepin County Elections Manager Ginny Gelms says early absentee voting is going smoothly.

“We are absolutely prepared for Tuesday,” Gelms said.

At an early polling place it’s not hard to find Sanders supporters.

“Bernie has a clearer vision for America, he has a confident vision and its one that hasn’t changed in forty years,” Ben Katke of Minneapolis added.

One of Minnesota’s more prominent Sanders supporters: Attorney General Keith Ellison, who endorsed Sanders early in the 2016 race, dismisses concerns that Sanders would have trouble beating President Trump.

“It does look like Bernie is taking control of this race and I hope that people will see that and get behind him,” Ellison said.

There is one more contest before Super Tuesday and that is South Carolina’s primary this Saturday. Polls show that former Vice President Joe Biden is leading; but, in a close second and gaining is Senator Sanders.

Senator Amy Klobuchar is running fifth in South Carolina Polls. She’s also fifth in a number of Super Tuesday polls.

Esme Murphy