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.”

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.

“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.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Susan Kolstad on 02/06/2014 - 10:53 am.

    Tuesday caucus in Mpls

    6-3 was not the only chaotic caucus in the city. Ours in 6-2 was crowded and chaotic. People wouldn’t sit down. (There probably weren’t enough seats anyway.) They wouldn’t stop talking. The person running the caucus seemed to loose his voice within the first hour. He was not able to maintain control although an experienced chairman. The two translators did their best and also seemed experienced. Later in the meeting they got a hold of a bullhorn which was ineffective against the noise. Those three people worked very hard to maintain order in the face of a crowd that seemed to be following the lead of a few individuals with a particular agenda that did not include all of the business of the caucus. Most of the experienced caucus attendees were there with the goal of passing resolutions. But of course, that never happened. We barely got through the nominations of delegates to all the conventions. The local Fox station posted a short video of a shoving incident miss labeling it as happening at the Brian Coyle Center.

    I think if there had been one experienced caucus attendee for each 2 or even 3 who came without understanding how a meeting works “peer pressure” would have been very helpful. But then the rooms would not have been nearly large enough. It is probably a good idea for the political parties to start running caucus training sessions for attendees, not just the people who will be running them.

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