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Our View: Last gasp for caucuses?

A unique experiment will take place March 7 and March 11-12. On March 7 Minnesota Republicans will hold their precinct caucuses as usual. On March 11-12, the DFL will boldly try to increase participation by holding their caucuses on a weekend for...

A unique experiment will take place March 7 and March 11-12. On March 7 Minnesota Republicans will hold their precinct caucuses as usual. On March 11-12, the DFL will boldly try to increase participation by holding their caucuses on a weekend for the first time. If the GOP caucus attendance stays the same and the DFL attendance rises sharply, then perhaps the solution to declining caucus attendance will have been found.
When former congressman Tim Penny spoke in Duluth Thursday, he noted that 25 years ago, 140,000 Minnesotans attended their precinct caucuses. Two years ago, only 17,000 did, and remember, that is the two major parties combined.
If caucus attendance does not jump this year, then it is clear something more is going on than busy Tuesdays. Then the culprit might be identified as single-issue politics and the unpleasant confrontations that result when nobody wants to compromise for the greater good of the party. That, in turn, should lead to new nominating systems that allow nominations by primary election or some other less confrontational system.

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