One of the big items on the agendas of caucuses around the state is a straw poll for Minnesota Governor.
Caucuses for both parties kicked off statewide at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Al Franken's seat and four or more closely watched congressional races.
To participate, you must be eligible to vote in the November 2018 general election and live in the precinct.
Carnahan announced that President Donald Trump said in Washington last week that he would make a campaign appearance in Minnesota later this year. Many, like 36-year-old Steve Jackson, were focused squarely on a four-way race to replace an outgoing state representative.
But the results of those polls are rarely indicative of who will win the nomination. But neither won his party's endorsement a few months later. It enables candidates to "show their political muscle", Martin said. The main event was a scheduled preference poll in the governor's race that will gauge each candidates' support. It's a wide-open contest to replace Dayton, netting six major Democratic candidates and a still-unsettled field for Republicans. And a large share of undecided voters show many GOP voters are still waiting.
There's an extra wrinkle for Republicans that could cloud Tuesday's voting: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty may enter the race.
The caucuses are important, DFL Chairman Ken Martin and GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan said, because they start the process of endorsing candidates for governor, USA senator, members of Congress and other state offices. And 2014 GOP nominee Jeff Johnson cruised to a commanding victory among Republicans with more than 45 percent of the vote.