Yesterday was Super Tuesday: the über glorious name given to the day when 12 states caucus to bring the whole primary election season that much closer to being over. My home state of Minnesota is one of those states, so I made sure to do my part in the whole process.
For a Tuesday in March, it was a surprisingly busy day. On Monday, I finally realized the short litany of obligations that I had the next day and was worried for a bit that I wouldn’t be able to make it out to the courthouse to cast my ballot. Fortunately, everything lined up just fine, and I was even able to make it to my precinct’s caucus room relatively early.
Once I found the room, I enjoyed a little light banter with some familiar faces as others lined up at the door to vote for their candidate of choice. And once 7 p.m. hit, we sat down, sought delegates, bestowed a few official titles on people for the sake of the meeting (I was a counter), and started reading through some resolutions. From the support for solar gardens to an extension of social security, all the resolutions passed, though some with more support than others.
But the big question on everybody’s mind was who had the most ballots in the little box in the back of the room. Did Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders win the day in the third precinct of Itasca County, Minnesota, USA? Once polls closed at 8 p.m. sharp, those of us delegated to do so grabbed the box and walked out into the hall to carefully count the neatly folded pieces of paper, each possessing a name with a little X next to it. As it happens, the turnout was bigger than expected, as a number of ballots were simply written on little pieces of scratch paper! So we counted, and double-checked our numbers, verifying that Sanders in fact won the day – 54 to 13 over Clinton (plus one write-in for John Kasich, weirdly enough. Wrong caucus, sir).
Once I got home, I saw that Minnesotans throughout the state were feeling the Bern! The populist Democratic Senator with more character than charisma handily won the day in the land of 10,000 lakes, beating out front-runner Clinton in every congressional district of the state, often by a YUUGE margin. In the eighth district, where I live, Sanders beat Clinton 65% to 35%.
Maybe it’s true what the pundits say, that Clinton all but has this race in the bag and she just has to see it through to the end. But it’s outcomes like this, and many others like them around the country that show that she’s in no way the automatic Democratic nominee. I hope to see Bernie beat Hillary, but even if he doesn’t, he’s shown that there are a lot of people out there, particularly young people, who are sick of the politics-as-usual mode of operation in the current system. If Hillary does win, I can only hope that a bit of Bernie-influence follows her.
But the hell with that kind of moppy-doppiness right now! Bernie kicked some ass in Minnesota yesterday! I can certainly say that I’m damn proud of my fellow Minnesotans, on both sides of the aisle. Not only did the Democrats vote for Bernie, but the Republicans didn’t vote for Cruz or Trump (excuse me, Drumpf)! I’m no fan of Marco Rubio, but he’s a goddamn improvement over his competitors! Good job to you too, Minnesota Republicans!