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DFL’s biggest election concern? Turning out the party’s base, not the GOP

With one chaotic exception, caucus night was what DFL Party chairman Ken Martin described as “pretty average.”

With one chaotic exception, caucus night was what DFL Party chairman Ken Martin described as “pretty average.”

The exception, of course, was in Minneapolis, Ward 6, Precinct 3 to be precise, where delegates in the endorsement race between Rep. Phyllis Kahn and challenger Mohamud Noor clashed.

Given that there are no DFL top-of-ticket contests, “pretty average” was about what Martin expected. Though not surprising, those “pretty average” turnouts will do nothing to calm Martin’s nerves about November elections.

“I’m not concerned about the Republicans at all,” Martin said after step one of the long process to Election Day in Minnesota.

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“We’re miles ahead in organization, financing and, I think, enthusiasm. The one thing I am concerned about is the turnout [in November] of our base. If our people don’t turn out, we could lose everything that was gained in the last election.”

Getting out the vote — not such issues as the chaos surrounding MnSure or the Vikings stadium — will be what decides the election, Martin said.

GOP candidates are attempting to make an issue of the selection of Tina Smith as Gov. Mark Dayton’s running. Both are longtime residents of Minneapolis — and the Republicans are trying to say that shows the governor doesn’t care about outstate regions.

But based on what he’s heard, there has been nothing but praise coming from DFL caucuses across the state about Smith’s selection, he said.