Huge Turnout in Minnesota Gives Caucus to Rubio for the GOP, Sanders for the Dems


Marco Rubio was finally able to call a state his own as caucus goers in Minnesota gave him his first win of the primary season. The state also gave self-avowed Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders the nod for the Democrat nomination.

The State’s GOP chair, Keith Downey, all but called Minnesota for Rubio before 10 PM, saying “Hard to see it any other way.” And in the end, Downey was right. Rubio cruised to a win with six percent more of the vote than the next closest Republican, Ted Cruz. As to the GOP candidate winning elsewhere, Donald Trump came in a distant third in Minnesota tonight.

Fox News called Minnesota for Rubio by 11 PM eastern. CBS wasn’t far behind.

But ultimately, what does it mean for Marco? One wag on Twitter noted that Marco is the “Walter Mondale of 2016 Republicans,” a cutting joke in that Mondale only won his home state of Minnesota as Ronald Reagan won the rest of the nation in a landslide in 1984.

For Democrats, Socialist Bernie Sanders took the left-leaning state handily, beating Hillary Clinton by upwards to 20 percentage points.

Still, for whatever party they supported, Minnesotans were excited to vote. Reports from all across Minnesota attested to a huge turnout for voters, so many that several caucuses ran out of ballots and began Xeroxing them or writing them down on blank, loose paper.

Voters in the DFL Caucus in North Minneapolis, for instance, were filling out their votes on blank paper because the turnout was so heavy. Many other caucuses reported similar problems.

Lines were extremely long, as well.

There were even reports of traffic snarls and parking problems as voters flocked to the caucuses.

Finally, to show just how different a caucus is from a regular primary vote, here is one of the most amusing and down-home Tweets of the night about the caucuses.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at