Saturday, February 23, 2019

Super Tuesday 2020 Adds Minnesota

It was confirmed Friday that Minnesota will conduct its newly reestablished presidential primary on March 3, 2020, Super Tuesday.

The confirmation comes just a week before a statutory deadline by which the two major parties were to have either jointly agreed to an alternative date or settled on the default first Tuesday in March position. The parties opted again for the latter, bringing Minnesota's primary in line with contests in at least nine other states.

Crowding in to that earliest date allowed by the national parties has implications as Minnesota Public Radio reported:
Ken Martin, chair of the Minnesota DFL Party, said he’s not dwelling on whether Minnesota will get lost in the crowd. 
“It’s certainly a risk we take, maybe potentially getting overshadowed,” Martin said. “But it’s the only date that really works for us in terms of the schedule we need to be able to have our state convention in June and be able to do all the other business of the party.”
But Minnesota is no stranger to Super Tuesday. The caucuses in the state have been on Super Tuesday in every cycle since 1996 with just one exception.1 And that has meant being aligned with the likes of California and New York among others in 2000 and those same two heavy hitters and nearly half the states in the country in 2008. On the one hand there is lost in the shuffle, but on the other for small to medium-sized states, is giving voters a choice (or that is often the refrain from date-setting decision-makers).

In the end, Minnesota winds up right where it was in 2016: on Super Tuesday. And while there was no movement of the date, there has been movement with respect to the mode of delegate allocation. The state has been one of several to make the leap from 2016 caucuses to 2020 primary.

2/15/15: Minnesota Parties Jointly Agree on Compliant March 1 Caucuses

2/13/19: #InvisiblePrimary: Visible -- Klobuchar, Minnesota and the Primary Calendar

The finalization of the Minnesota presidential primary date is reflected on the FHQ 2020 Presidential Primary Calendar.

Tip of the cap to Mike Taphorn for passing news of the confirmation on to FHQ.

1 In the transition from a window in which the national parties allowed February contests to one after 2008 when only March or later was within the rules, Minnesota in 2012 held February caucuses before Super Tuesday. But those caucuses were non-binding on the Republican side in a competitive contest and on the Democratic side where there was no challenge to President Obama, Minnesota Democrats got a waiver from the DNC to hold February contests but release the results in March.

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