Friday, January 6, 2012

Minnesota Democrats Set for February 7 Caucuses

The revised and presumably final delegate selection plan for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor has been posted on the party website.1 The party will use the February 7 precinct caucuses called for by state law in the Land of 10,000 Lakes; a change from the March 6 caucus date previous plans had proposed. The presidential preference vote taken on February 7, according to the plan, will be affirmed at the Organizing Unit Conventions on March 6.

As FHQ discussed when the original Minnesota delegate selection plan was released back in the spring of 2011, this is a work-around to allow the vote to take place on the caucus date specified by law, but for  the results to be revealed once the vote is affirmed/finalized on March 6.

Now, some may say that this is a potential slippery slope for the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (for the RBC to have approved this plan). Perhaps, but FHQ is willing to wager that any state that might try this in the future -- particularly in a future competitive race where the method of allocation may matter -- is likely to be met with resistance from the RBC. First of all, the argument can be made by the committee that with Obama being the only (viable?) candidate on the ballot, that he will receive all of the votes anyway. But I doubt the RBC would have to resort to that argument anyway. FHQ doesn't have access to the waiver request submitted by the Minnesota DFL, but I suspect the argument there had little if anything to do with the competitiveness of the Democratic presidential nomination race than it dealt with the fact that a Republican-controlled legislature blocked last-minute efforts to change the provision in the presidential caucus law triggering the first Tuesday in February date. That point is key. That is the out that the DNC delegate selection rules provide: If efforts were made by Democrats in the state to schedule a compliant contest, but the decision was out of their hands, then a waiver can be granted (Rule 20.C.7).

A tip of the cap to Tony Roza over at The Green Papers for passing this news along.

1 Below is the revised Minnesota DFL delegate selection plan:
2012 National Delegate Selection Plan Revised for DNC 2012-01-04

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