Minnesota holds its Democratic and Republican caucuses on March 1, 2016. 93 delegates are at stake for the Democrats and 38 delegates for the Republicans. The Twin Cities has the longest consecutive streak of voting Democratic for president of any state. The last time the state went Republican in the general election was in 1972.
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Why The State Is Significant:
• In previous election years, Minnesota held its caucuses in February. This year, party leaders chose to stage caucuses on Super Tuesday, a key day in the presidential campaign when almost half of the delegates needed to win the party nominations are up for grabs. This has resulted in a heightened interest in caucuses. According to the Minnesota Secretary of State, only 2 percent of eligible voters caucused in 2012, and 10 percent in 2008, when Barack Obama and John McCain were the candidates. This year, both parties expect the figure to be much higher due to being scheduled on Super Tuesday.
• Although Trump has not invested as much time and effort in the state as Rubio and Cruz so far, don't necessarily count him out: The electorate does like an outsider. Jesse Ventura, for example, defeated both Democratic and Republican candidates when he ran for governor in 1998, as the Reform Party's candidate. Trump's supporters include former Minnesota elected officials, including former Hennepin County Commissioner Mark Stenglwin, an independent, and Brian LeClair, a former GOP state senator.
• Minnesota U.S. Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen back Rubio, as do former Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Norm Coleman. Cruz, meanwhile is counting on the state's evangelicals and socially conservative state House Republicans for backing.
• Moments after Hillary Clinton was declared the projected winner of South Carolina's Democratic primary, the Clinton juggernaut continued: She landed the endorsement of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, which declared, "We believe Clinton is the clear choice over Sanders for heart and head alike." A blow for Sanders, whose political revolution lacked specifics, said the state's largest newspaper.