Could Minnesota drop the caucus and pick up the primary?

Caucus goers express support.
Caucus-goers express their support for State Rep. candidate Ilhan Omar at the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis on March 1.
Aaron Lavinsky | Star Tribune via AP

After heavy turnout and long lines around Minnesota on Super Tuesday, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are now agreeing on one thing: Minnesota should switch from caucuses to primaries.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said he'll introduce legislation this session to make the switch. Garofalo said the caucus system does not work in a presidential year, because too many locations are inadequate for the crowds.

"We just simply don't have the facilities to accommodate everybody voting at the exact same time, and that's what happens in a caucus system," Garofalo said.

DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk echoed this, saying he would co-author a bill to make Minnesota a presidential primary state.

So how realistic is the switch? And what would it mean for how Minnesota votes? Philip Chen, a visiting assistant professor of political science at Macalester College, joined MPR News host Tom Weber to discuss the issue.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.