Politically-active and politically-curious Minnesotans attend precinct caucuses tonight, starting at 7 p.m., with Democrats and Republicans each holding over four thousand meetings across the state.
The caucuses tonight are expected to be heavily attended by members of both parties. They mark the first step in the march toward each party’s nominating convention in June, with the main event a preference poll testing support for all gubernatorial candidates.
History shows that poll is rarely indicative of who will win each party’s nomination.
Party chairs are hoping high energy surrounding the state’s politics powers high turnout in a year that will also see a special election for former Sen. Al Franken’s seat and four or more closely watched congressional races.
Some analysts say tonight’s straw poll in the governor’s race means little on the Republican side because former Governor Tim Pawlenty has not yet said whether he’ll run. State G-O-P Chair Jennifer Carnahan says candidates that *are* in the race have been working incredibly hard and are “going to show an early testament of the work that those candidates have put forth into the straw ballot.”
The latest poll showed Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson leading the Republican field, with former state party chair Keith Downey a vigorous challenger. Six Democrats are running for governor, with the latest poll showing First District Congressman Tim Walz as front runner.
In Redwood Falls, the Redwood County Republican caucus will be held at the Redwood Valley High School / Middle School, in the choir room area. The school is located at 100 George Ramseth Drive.
The Redwood County DFL Caucus will be held at the Redwood Falls Public Library (509 S. Lincoln St, Redwood Falls). Registration is at 6:30 PM and the caucus is at 7:00 PM.