Sanders, Rubio lead Minnesota Super Tuesday

Campus DFL sites saw high student turnout for Sanders.

by Daily Staff

After a last-minute campaign push in Minnesota, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders upset Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Minnesota’s DFL caucuses Tuesday.

 
 
Sanders’ victory over Clinton in the state was his fourth of the night, including Colorado, Oklahoma and his home state of Vermont.
 
 
A January Star Tribune poll showed Clinton had a commanding lead among Minnesota Democrats with a 34-point advantage over Sanders.
 
 
Both of the main Democratic campaigns have frequented Minnesota in recent weeks. The two appeared before thousands at a DFL fundraiser on Feb. 12, and Sanders has rallied supporters in the state at least three times since then. Clinton made a last-minute stop in MinneapolisTuesday to shore up support.
 
 
At about 7:30 p.m., DFL Chairman Ken Martin said three to four precincts — most in South Minneapolis — ran out of ballots even though they had printed enough for a turnout equal to 2008’s record-setting numbers.
 
 
“The DFL expects around 80 percent of 2008 turnout. That number could be higher after Clinton and Sanders’ multiple trips to the state,” said DFL spokesperson Rachel Boyer.
 
 
Despite the high turnout in urban areas and population centers, Martin said of estimates late Tuesday night, statewide turnout didn’t necessarily match 2008’s record of more than 200,000 Minnesotan voters.
 
 
Martin also noted a large number of younger caucus-goers compared to past years.

 
 
“It’s as much nominating our presidential candidate as it is building our party,” Martin said, adding he hopes Tuesday night spurs support for the DFL to overtake a Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate. “This is grassroots democracy at its finest.”
 
 
Mayo Auditorium was one of several DFL caucus sites near campus. College students supporting Sanders made a strong showing at many University caucus locations.
 
 
Lucas Zeidner, plant science first-year student, said that as a self-identified socialist, he voted for Sanders precisely because the Vermont senator is the most left-leaning presidential candidate.
 
 
“I feel like this would be a missed opportunity not to vote for him,” he said. 
 
 
Another campus DFL location, West Bank’s Willey Hall, was also brimming with students Tuesday evening. There, Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, took the opportunity to promote her own campaign for the upcoming Minnesota Legislature elections.
 
 
Wiley Hall’s event ended with 44 votes for Clinton and 177 for Sanders, while Mayo had 781 for Sanders and Clinton had 103.
 
 
The voting at Cedar Riverside’s Brian Coyle Center was marked by high turnout. Among the crowd of almost 1,000 were Mohamed Noor and Ilhan Omar, each running
against Kahn for the District 60B seat. 
 
 
Caucusing for the Senate race at the Brian Coyle Center began later in the evening and ended with 17 delegates for Noor, nine for Omar and one for Kahn. 
 
 
“We prepared for the 2008 turnout. I think a lot of [people] going into this didn’t know what to expect,” Martin said, adding that he’s seen a spike in excitement for democratic candidates this year. “That’s what we’re seeing tonight.”