In the inside-baseball world of convention politics, nothing is quite so vital as the “drop rule.” That’s the point at which candidates seeking party endorsement disappear from the ballot.
After lengthy discussions with all of the campaigns of gubernatorial candidates, the DFL’s rules committee today released its tentative plan:
• Candidates who receive less than 4 percent of the vote on the first ballot will be dropped from the ballot.
• The drop-off point will be raised 4 percent points on each ensuing ballot, meaning on the second ballot, if a candidate receives less than 8 percent of the vote, his or her name would disappear from the ballot.
• For the fourth ballot and subsequent ones, only the candidate with the lowest percentage would be dropped.
• As the balloting goes on, if the application of the drop rule would eliminate all but one candidate, then the two candidates who receive the highest percentage of votes will remain on the ballot.
• A candidate must receive 60 percent of the vote to receive party endorsement.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Sen. John Marty, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Reps Tom Rukavina Paul Thissen all have said they will abide by the endorsement, meaning they’ll end their long campaigns if unsuccessful at the convention.
Both former Rep. Matt Entenza and Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner are expected to seek endorsement but have indicated they will move on to the August primary without it. Former Sen. Mark Dayton is bypassing the endorsement process entirely and has geared his entire campaign to the primary.
The proposed drop-off rule is expected to be finalized later today, but final rules are subject to convention approval.