Republican Caucus – District 57

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Sarah Crippes

Large crowd of voters in the general meeting for the Republican caucus.

Turnout within the Republican Party this cycle has been extraordinary. Because of this, District 57 had two Republican caucus locations: Rosemount High School and Eastview High School.  Caucus locations were then assigned depending on precincts.  According to the districts’s Republican website, 2195 Republican voters turned out, over four times as many as in the 2008 caucuses.

Voters wait in line to verify precinct assignments
Sarah Crippes
Voters wait in line to verify precinct assignments

Eastview High School experienced this phenomenon of large voter turnout on caucus night.  According to Kevin Ecker, Senate District 57 Secretary and Caucus Coordinator, they were anticipating 2,000 attendees on Tuesday night.  They significantly underestimated this figure.  By night’s end, Ecker estimated 4,000 attendees showing up to support local and national candidates.

This large turnout in District 57 can be credited to the vast range of candidates.  Not only were the national presidential candidates represented by their delegates, but local candidates were also present.

Tara Mack, looking for reelection to the Minnesota House of Representatives, showed up with many supporters.  In an interview with Mack, she wanted to let young voters know to pay close attention during this election season because the decisions made by these candidates will affect them for years to come.  She thinks that the younger generations’ financial future is in the hands of these candidates.

Candidate Tara Mack
Sarah Crippes
Candidate Tara Mack

Local candidate Cory Campbell also made an appearance at District 57’s Caucus for support in his campaign for State Senate.  In an interview, he wanted to let young voters know that if they gave him their support, he would prevent the government from being intrusive.  He credited this goal as a result from Obamacare, which caused Campbell’s insurance company to go out of business.

These local candidates were likely not the reason for the large turnout, however; the main event of the night was the voting for national candidates that took place after the general meeting.  When voters arrived, they were instructed to attend the general meeting to hear local candidates’ statements for support.  In District 57, there was such a large turnout that not all of them could fit into the auditorium.  After caucus goers heard statements from these local candidates, they divided into rooms based on their precinct to vote.

In these precinct rooms, the voters cast their votes on ballots.  According to Caucus Coordinator Ecker, the majority of the 13 precinct rooms ran out of ballots due to the historic turnout of voters.

As the large turnout seemed to be the headline of the night for Senate District 57’s Republican Party, the results of Minnesota’s caucus as a whole quickly became a national headline.  Marco Rubio won District 57 and the state, earning 17 delegates in his quest to become the GOP’s nominee for the general election.  This is Rubio’s first win in the caucus season and the only state not won by Donald Trump or Ted Cruz on Super Tuesday.

Across all states that had caucuses on Super Tuesday, Trump won 7 (AL, AR, GA, MA, TN, VT, VA), Cruz won 3 (AK, OK, TX), and Rubio won 1 (MN).

It is safe to say that Senate District 57’s Republican voter turnout and Minnesota’s caucuses as a whole made Super Tuesday one for the record books.