What would make you more likely to attend your caucus?

Minnesotans will gather tonight in political caucuses around the state. Participants will elect delegates to party conventions and vote in a straw poll for governor. Observers predict a low turnout. Today’s Question: What would make you more likely to attend your caucus?

  • Alison

    I would be more likely to go if I had fewer activities going on this week! Also, I haven’t had the time to sort through the dozen Democratic candidates, so I feel like it would primarily be a waste of my time. I listened to the debates on Midday yesterday which helped sort through the crowded field a little, but I could only really give a top few choices and bottom few choices after that.

    I really don’t like the caucus system. In order to meaningfully participate you need to give up a weekend and spend money on a hotel to attend a convention. I can go to the caucus tonight and tell how I feel, but since I have no plans to attend the convention, my voice will be lost anyway. The delegates from my district that go to the convention don’t need represent my views.

  • tiredboomer

    I’ve tried the caucuses twice in the last two decades, I’ll never again waste my time in this manner. I’d participate if party insiders didn’t make me feel like an outsider and if I believed my moderate opinions actually mattered to more extreme party activists.

  • Bob Moffitt

    We “party insiders” became insiders because we always show up and we won’t quit. So if you want to win, and want to be heard, start by showing up and being just a tough as we are.

    Don’t complain about the “activists,” become one of us! You know that bumper sticker that reads “Well-behaved women rarely make history”? Well, that aplies to everyone.

    The choice for leadership of our state and nation begins tonight, at 7 p.m. If you wait until Nov. to vote, you will have to take whatever candiadate we activists choose for you. Or, you can participate too. The choice is up to you.

  • jessica Sundheim

    Thoughts: Usually I go into these things not wanting to lose face, often viewing a straw poll as a horse race and trying to find the winner.

    Last time, I went with someone I truly believed even though the other candidate had more name recognition and more money. I went with the person who represented my values and lost. It was hard, but I got over it! A week later I had the other guy’s shirt on and drove the float in the 4th of July parade. It was a great lesson. So, many in the party analyze these candidates as if it is a horse race, trying to conclude who will win. There is also the herd mentality factor. I found it easier to analyze the candidate and go with a candidate that actually represented the ideas I could get behind, instead of the guy with the money, the name, and the party backing. This made the process rewarding, interesting, and much more worthwhile. I felt less cynical and I invested more because I truly hoped for my candidate to go the furthest – I even went to the state convention.

    This year I am excited to propose a resolution. It would be easier if I understood legalese and Robert’s Rules of order, but despite that, I still look at this as a learning experience in which I can do my best and learn from the best. Besides, it is the one night in our town when every fabulous person that ever lived in our area gets together in one room, so socially, how can one miss out on that?

  • http://jillbernard.com Jill Bernard

    I went last year and it seemed like a big waste of time, a lot of loudmouths prattling on with no organization or real purpose. I didn’t get it.

    So to answer the question, if I could be assured it would be purposeful, I might go. In the future, I assume it could be done via video conference and online voting, that would be wonderful as long as it still had walk-up service for those without computer access.

  • Abdi Takhal

    Caucus is as important as the election day. Thus, it is the duty of the citizens to participate the voting process from the caucus to the election day.

  • Allie

    I agree with “tiredboomer.” It seems that no one is there to understand platforms and make the “correct” choice for them, but instead, caucuses are a place to enforce social heirarchies. So for me to want to go to caucuses again, there’s no one thing that needs to happen. Entire attitudes need changing. Maybe though, if a candidate baked fresh cookies…

  • Jo

    I don’t need anymore encouragement to attend the caucuses.

    I’m already attending for these three reasons:

    Progressive Governor 2010

  • Toby Nichols

    If only the caucuses were more organized…WAIT! THEY WILL BE!! I am a chair of a local DFL party unit, and I can assure you we are trained, we are organized, and we are READY. We have maps, charts, LOTS of straw ballots, lots of resolution forms (You get to have your say!)…So, come on out! See for yourself what it will be like, and be heard!

  • Ken

    For people who aren’t members of a political party, there’s no “my caucus” to attend.

  • Joe

    I am very interested in politics and the political process, but I think my voice in this case is small.

    Second, I am putting popular culture ahead of politics tonight and watching the season premiere of Lost with my wife.

  • Jared

    I spent 2 hours last night making a spreadsheet going over the 20 some candidates and seeing how they align with my views because I’ll go to any caucus. Last year I stopped by both Rs and Ds in my area. This year it’ll just be one as one party conviently has a list of candidates that all say the same things I’m against. Last year there were choices for both parties. I guess they’re getting ‘back to their base.’

    Anyways, I still have it down to 7 but I think I’ve made a countdown of them to favor. I think organizers, for next year, should put a spreadsheet and their candidates views on the same site to spare myself, and other citizens hours of searching over the candidate’s websites for their views. If they didn’t have an organized site, I wrote them off, might have been a bad choice on my part but if they can’t be organized by now what are their chances really? And other candidates didn’t all cover the same issues so there are blanks, get the party leaders to set up short answers to key issues for candidates.

    example: health care: get universal / bring reform / keep now / deregulate / etc…

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/ Texts sent to MPR

    Comments texted to MPR:

    The feeling that any of it mattered or would actually make a difference. -Richard, St. Paul

    I always caucus. My voice is important! -Gretchen, St Louis Park

    We attempted to go caucus last time but couldn’t get near the building due to heavy traffic and lack of parking. -anonymous

    Free daycare. -anonymous

  • Rob

    I’d attend if Mark Dayton were on the ballot. He’s the only Democrat in the race with the statewide name recognition needed to win.

  • Tim in MPLS

    Tonight will be the first time in my life that I have attended a caucus. My politically-inclined partner-in-crime is out of town, so I’m incredibly nervous. I have no idea how it will go down. Having never experienced it, I can only imagine it will mimic the classic movie scene of a drug deal gone bad. But, I insist on attending and remain optimistic. Minnesota’s future depends on me… sorta.

    I do, however, have a glimmer of hope. I would prefer a small, intimate gathering and thanks to the season premiere of LOST, my dream may come true.

    If the caucus had a screening of LOST and then moved on to the business, you might get more folks to attend.

  • Bill

    I’m going but I’m also going to have to leave early to catch the season premiere of Lost. I would be more likely to stay if I wasn’t tied to stupid broadcast schedules.

  • 433

    If both major parties weren’t so rigid in their thinking, I might choose one or the other.

  • Dana

    Door prizes!!!

  • Topher Jacobson

    If watchingLost is more important than supporting your caucus, or finding out a caucus to support than we all have lost and “they” have us just where they want us.

  • Ethan

    If MPR had had more coverage about candidates’ positions in news coverage rather than just scandals. I feel so uninformed that there is no use in my going. I know who’s running but not what they stand for. I feel like MPR has let me down.

  • DMox

    I would be more likely to go if they were held on a weekend, when I’m off work, like the overwhelming majority of people. Caucusing, & voting should be done on days when the majority are available to participate. It’s practically criminal to continue the tradition of Tuesdays in voting, as it marginalizes the vast majority, who have the most at stake – working Americans.

  • JLB15

    *Lets caucus during the summer….outside in our amazing parks. radical i know. and make it a neighborhood potluck too. Kid friendly is important not only for the parents, but also for the younger generations to witness our political “system”

  • Steven

    Minnesota’s best governor in my memory was Arne Carlson, who, if I remember correctly, got there by running against the party-endorsed candidate in a primary. So my question is, do caucusses help choose good candidates, or inhibit the process?

  • Karen

    Summer!

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/ Comment sent to MPR from Facebook

    Comment from Facebook page “MPR Public Insight”:

    This is the first time since I moved to MN in 1980 that I haven’t attended my precinct caucus. I’m fatigued with our stubborn, absentee governor and our do-nothing legislature. Admittedly, the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate presided over one of the most recalcitrant legislative sessions in state history AND had to contend with the most inflexible and dogmatic governor I can recall. However, we elect these folks in both parties to make deals. So, I’m disappointed with and fatigued by Democrats and appalled and disgusted by zero-solution RepubliCants. I wonder about eliminating the Senate in favor of a uni-cameral legislature…-Bob MacNeal