Election 2024

Biden, Trump win Minnesota’s Super Tuesday presidential primary elections

Long-shot challenger Dean Phillips gets beat in home state

a young person casts vote
Roberts Hoenisch, 23, casts vote at Matthews Park Recreation Center during the Super Tuesday primary in Minneapolis.
Kerem Yucel | MPR News

Updated 9:45 p.m.

President Joe Biden dealt challenger Dean Phillips a Super Tuesday defeat in the Minnesota congressman's home state, while former President Donald Trump beat Nikki Haley in the state's Republican primary.

With contests in more than a dozen states and territories, the Super Tuesday primaries are the largest day of voting of the year outside of the November election.

Super Tuesday has the largest delegate haul of any day in the primary calendar, representing more than one-third of the total delegates available in each party’s nomination process and more than 70 percent of the delegates needed to mathematically clinch either party’s nomination.

Minnesota has 75 Democratic and 39 Republican national convention delegates. But as one of the smaller of 16 states and one territory holding Super Tuesday primaries, Minnesota received little attention — even from Phillips, who represents a congressional district in the Minneapolis suburbs but enjoyed hardly any home-field advantage.

Haley was the only candidate to put in an in-person campaign appearance. Her rally at a Bloomington hotel last week drew several hundred people, but it wasn't enough for her to catch up to Trump.

For Phillips, the only elected Democrat to challenge Biden in their party’s primary, the results from Minnesota and other Super Tuesday states extended his string of defeats.

“While Democratic Party loyalists are clearly, consistently, and overwhelmingly registering their preference for Joe Biden, it doesn’t alter the reality which compelled me to enter the race in the first place; Donald Trump is increasingly likely to defeat him in November," Phillips said in a statement. "I’ll be assessing tonight’s results and all available data over the coming days before making a decision about how I can best help prevent that tragedy.”

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said Tuesday night it is time for Phillips to end his campaign. 

“You know, if you can't win your own congressional district, I don’t know how you can make a case to voters across the country that you’re ready to not only be president, but that you can win this nomination,” Martin said. “Tonight was the end of Dean Phillips’ presidential campaign whether or not he wants to believe that.”

Trump didn't visit Minnesota for the primary, but he raised eyebrows during a phone interview with KNSI radio in St. Cloud on Monday when he claimed that he thought he won the state in the 2020 general election, echoing his false claims that he was the rightful winner nationwide.

Trump actually lost Minnesota by more than 7 percentage points to Biden, but he came within 1.5 points of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, and told KNSI he intends to take a “big shot” at winning the state this November. No Republican presidential candidate has carried Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972.

The Biden campaign last week sent Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. He appeared at a fundraiser, visited Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to highlight the administration's investments in transportation infrastructure, and paid his respects to three slain first responders in Burnsville.

Voters turn out across Minnesota

a man poses next to the American flag
Les Lodewyck, 66, voted Tuesday morning in Baxter. He voted for Trump and said he’s concerned about immigration issues at the border.
Kirsti Marohn | MPR News

Turnout was slow but steady on Tuesday morning at a church in Baxter, where 66-year-old Les Lodewyck voted. He said he voted for Trump because he’s concerned about issues such as immigration and inflation.

“They keep saying the economy’s getting better now. It’s not,” Lodewyck said. “Groceries shouldn’t cost two retired people that share a steak $140 a week. And that’s for five, six bags of groceries that aren’t even full because we can’t carry a full bag up anymore at one time. It’s just it’s out of control.”

Edward Letts also cast his ballot in Baxter. The 72-year-old is retired from careers in the military and banking. Letts said he voted for Republican Nikki Haley instead of Trump because she’s younger and more moderate. Trump is 77; Haley is 52.

“I think Nikki would would be better than him. Unfortunately, I don’t think she’s gonna make it,” Letts said. “But it seems we’re getting very, very polarized in this society. There doesn’t seem to be a term ‘moderate’ anymore.”

In Bloomington, Mary Moore said that at 59 years old she’s more than ready to see a woman president. 

“Last election, I'll be honest, I voted Biden but I think the man needs to retire. And I definitely do not want Trump in there. Nikki Haley? Yeah. A little dose of a female in there? Yeah, I could go for that,” Moore said.

Emily Langerak voted for President Joe Biden in Minneapolis. She said he's not the most exciting candidate she's seen, but overall she agrees with his policies and thinks he's been doing a good job. 

“Climate change is definitely huge, especially with the winter that we've had, so thinking about somebody that will take care of our environment,” Langerak said.

At a polling place near Macalester College in St. Paul, Democratic voter Margo Dickinson said she considered voting for Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, but cast her ballot for Biden. 

"I'm concerned about Biden's age and health. I think he's doing a wonderful job and I support him 100 percent, and I think it's good to have new blood and challenges to get people thinking about other options and what the main issues are,” Dickinson said. Biden is 81.

Stephen Hoke voted for Phillips in St. Paul.

“I've always liked him and I know he doesn't have a chance. I just, I don’t know, wanted to give him some support because I appreciate that he was at least giving it a shot and running to give us an alternative,” Hoke said.

Phillips has said that if he doesn’t perform well in today’s Super Tuesday primaries, he’d call off his campaign and back Biden.

a man holds a cup and poses for a photo
Matthew Tri, 39, works in the hospitality industry. He voted at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead Tuesday morning.
Dan Gunderson | MPR News

Matthew Tri voted for Trump in Moorhead. Tri said his main reason is economic.

“People see it right now at the grocery stores, at the gas stations,” Tri said. “I just want someone in office that is going to have everyone’s back, not just certain people’s or agendas.”

Tri said the legal cases against the former president don’t concern him, and he said nothing will change his plans to vote for Trump in the November general election.

Voters talk about voting ‘uncommitted’

A movement has grown encouraging people to vote “uncommitted” on the Democratic ballot, with the goal to deliver a ballot-box rebuke to President Biden, who has drawn protest from people who don’t think his administration is doing enough to halt Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. 

Last week in Michigan, more than 100,000 Democratic voters opted for “uncommitted” on their ballots. Biden won the Democratic primary comfortably with more than 618,000 votes, but the uncommitted showing was noteworthy and will give that cause at least two delegates to the party’s national convention this summer in Chicago.

“I’m really excited to see if that’s something that we can pull off in Minnesota too because it’s so rare that we get an opportunity to really sell a protest vote in that way like this,” voter Cass Cooper said outside a polling place in Bloomington. “We know Biden’s gonna win the primary for the Democrats but to say something like that is a rarity without feeling the risk.”

“Domestically, I very much approve of what he's done, but it's on the international field that I definitely want to make sure that he knows there are a lot of people in this community that are upset at this direction,” Sarah Zion said.

A couple poses on a sidewalk
Cass Cooper and Sarah Zion of Bloomington said they voted "uncommitted" in the presidential primary on Tuesday.
Jon Collins | MPR News

In Moorhead, Elise Tacker Hayner said she voted “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary and what happens in the next few months will determine if she votes for Biden in November.

“I hope that I see I improvements for the people of the world that deserve to have their children live in peace and have their basic needs met, to not be dying of hunger and starvation,” Tacker Hayner said.

St. Paul software engineer Drew Short also said he voted “uncommitted” at a polling station near Hamline University.

"I believe that our foreign policy right now is kind of all over the place and we're causing a lot of harm. So voting uncommitted is one way for me to say I don't have a lot of faith in the current administration's choice and process, but I do want to vote and I am a civic engaged citizen,” Short said.

In Minneapolis, Collin Burke said he voted “uncommitted” because he “just wanted some way for my voice to be heard, however small a gesture it may be.”

Be in line by 8 p.m. to vote

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says voters have all day to cast a ballot in the presidential primary — unlike the old caucus process that required them to block off the evening.

“To vote on Tuesday you go to your normal polling place,” Simon said. “It’s no different than any other election.”

a man speaks
Secretary of State Steve Simon speaks with members of the media at Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center during the Super Tuesday primary in St. Paul.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

Simon said information on finding a particular individual’s voting location is available online with the state’s pollfinder tool.

“If you’re not sure where that is, or if you believe it may have changed, you can go to our website,” Simon said. “And you can input your address and very quickly and easily find out where your polling place is.”

Polls close at 8 p.m., but anyone still in line at that time will get a chance to cast a ballot.

Who is on Minnesota’s presidential primary ballot?

Democratic President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump are favored in their party primaries. But both still have competitors looking to deny them their nominations.

Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is still running against Trump despite losing all contests aside from a primary victory over the weekend in Washington, D.C.

On the Democratic side, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips remains in the race. Biden also faces a grassroots group of activists encouraging Democrats to choose "uncommitted" in protest of his ongoing support for Israel in its war against Hamas in Gaza.

For Democrats, there are 11 options: Joe Biden, Eban Cambridge, Gabriel Cornejo, Frankie Lozado, Jason Palmer, Armando Perez-Serrato, Dean Phillips, Cenk Uygur, Marianne Williamso, Uncommitted and a write-in option.

For Republicans, the six choices are: Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Donald Trump and a write-in option.

Polls open in Bloomington.
“I voted” stickers lay ready to be handed out to voters at a polling place during Super Tuesday primary voting at United Methodist Church in Bloomington.
Kerem Yücel | MPR News

The Legal Marijuana Now Party is also holding a primary with six choices: Edward Forchion,, Krystal Gabel, Rudy Reyes, Dennis Schuller, Vermin Supreme and a write-in option.

Neither Trump nor Biden will be able to claim the title of “presumptive nominee” on Super Tuesday. The earliest that could happen is March 12 for Trump and March 19 for Biden.

How can I vote in Minnesota’s primary?

Any voter registered in Minnesota can vote in the primary. Pre-registration ended Feb. 13, but you can register at the polling place on the day of the primary. Voters must be 18 years on March 5 to vote in the presidential primary.

The Minnesota Secretary of State’s website has more information on same-day voter registration.

While Minnesota doesn’t have party registration, you must decide which party ballot to request and a polling place worker will provide that ballot.

On Tuesday, there will be traditional polling place locations open around the state. Most polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Towns with less than 500 residents are not required to open polls until 10 a.m., but most choose to open at 7 a.m.

To find your polling place, enter your home address in the Minnesota Secretary of State’s pollfinder tool.

MPR News reporters Dan Gunderson, Ellie Roth, Estelle Timar-Wilcox, Jon Collins and Kirsti Marohn contributed to this report.