It could be interesting political viewing at tonight’s GOP caucuses in Northfield and throughout Minnesota.
Pre-caucus polling is showing one definite trend: predicting who is going to come out on top in Republican presidential voting is difficult.
A poll highlighted in Politics in Minnesota this morning shows former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum ahead of GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, 33 percent to 24 percent.
Yet, in this morning’s Star Tribune, the presidential caucuses are being called “impossible-to-call.”
So, it could be a fun evening for political watchers.
Northfield Patch will be among Minnesota Patch sites blogging from tonight’s caucuses. The live blogging starts at 5 p.m., with the caucuses kicking off at 7. The live blog is available by .
NORTHFIELD CAUCUS SITES, INFORMATION
Caucus sites for Northfield residents include:
• DFL—The Senate District 25 DFL will meet at , 2200 Division St. For more information about the District 25 DFL, click here.
District 36 DFLers living in Northfield precincts W-3 and P-3 will meet in conjunction with District 25 at Northfield Middle School. For more information about the District 36 DFL, click here.
• Independence—A caucus for the entire Second Congressional District, which includes all of Lakeville, will be hosted by a delegate in Apple Valley. The Independence Party website says more details will be available soon. For more information about the Independence Party, click here.
• Republican (GOP)—District 25 Republicans will meet in the lower and upper cafeterias of l, 1400 Division St. For more information about the Rice County GOP, click here.
District 36 Republicans in Northfield precincts W-3 and P-3 will meet at Boeckman Middle School, 800 Denmark Ave., Farmington. For more information about District 36 GOP, click here.
In Minnesota, the DFL, Independence and Republican parties are considered major parties. For the definitions of major and minor political parties in Minnesota, click here.
All caucuses begin at 7 p.m.
WHAT'S A CAUCUS?
A caucus helps a political party gain consensus as to how voters have aligned their political and candidate preferences.
But at a caucus, there’s more going on than just candidate selection. Participants sometimes select county committee chairs that go to a state—and sometimes national—convention.
What distinguishes a caucus from a primary is that at a primary, voters don’t have to be present at one particular location at a specific time. For a primary, voters just go to their polling place and cast a vote, the same as they would do at a general election.
For a caucus, you have to be physically present at your designated caucus site, register, show your party affiliation and then participate in the process. Attendees participate directly.
To take part in a caucus, you must be eligible to vote in the 2012 general election and live in the precinct. Teenagers ages 16 and up also can attend, but they cannot vote or serve as a delegate.
Each party has its own rules and guidelines it follows.
Additional caucus information—including a caucus finder—can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State website by clicking here.