The truth about Minnesota’s Republican caucuses

I would find it hard to believe that any student on campus hasn’t discussed or reflected on this incredible election season over the past few months — let alone the past week. Both caucuses on Tuesday night demonstrated this sentiment through the large turnout of both GOP and DFL voters.
At the caucus, I was evaluating the status of politics in Minnesota while standing in the long lines of Anderson Hall. Then, a sad but true realization hit me: As a Republican voter, my vote at the caucus was actually more important than my vote on the actual Election Day. It was very disheartening.
The reality of Minnesota presidential politics for the Republican Party is not encouraging by any means. Minnesota has voted for the Democratic nominee in almost every election since 1932. The only exceptions are the elections of 1952, 1956 and — most recently — 1972 when Richard Nixon won only by about 5 percent in an election that every state but Massachusetts voted Republican. 
Like it or not, Minnesota is about as steadily liberal as you can get. It is regrettable to say, but as Minnesota Republicans, we undeniably have had a tough time.
With our limited influence on the actual outcome of Minnesota’s electoral votes, we Minnesota Republicans are stuck wondering where we can help our party make a difference.
We cannot affect who becomes the president, but we can, at the very least, help our party nominate the candidate who will hopefully stir enough support across the country to make a positive impact on our lives here.
This year, however, we’re in luck. The elections of the past do not dictate the elections of the future. We still need to campaign, support and especially vote to elect our party’s nomination on Election Day. Regardless of the final outcome, to vote is a social duty, and it is the cornerstone of our democracy.
At the end of the day, I wait for the year when Minnesota finally turns as Republican red as the University of Minnesota’s very own Honeycrisp apples. By digging in and spending time and energy, Minnesota will one day send its electoral votes to a Republican president. 
I encourage you all to be at the polls on Nov. 8, and to my Democrat friends — the race is on!
Joe Waldvogel
University student