The Big Story Blog

As caucuses near, Minnesotans sound off on election

Posted at 4:26 PM on February 7, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Politics

20120206_ron-paul-in-st-cloud2_33.jpg
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Politics is the topic of the day for many Minnesotans heading into tonight's caucuses. And while the state's contest may be more for bragging rights than anything else, we're learning how Minnesotans see the race going forward.

We asked Minnesotans in the MPR News Public Insight Network for some informal perspective on the presidential race, who they're supporting and why.

It not scientific, but the responses we got gave us a good sense of how Minnesotans of many political stripes view the November election. Regardless of their ideology, many feel the country's future is at stake.

Brad Leeser of Moorhead told us he voted for Ron Paul in 1988 and 2008 and will vote for him again in tonight's caucuses.

Unlike other candidates who come down solidly in favor of all sides of a issue, Ron Paul has consistently stood for personal freedom, sound money, fiscal security, and the Constitution.

He is not an isolationist as some allege, rather he wants to engage the world economically, restrain our foreign military adventures and keep a strong defense.
Click on the map icons below to read what other Minnesotans told us, then add your voice.

View Minnesota insights on the caucuses in a full screen map

Rick Santorum may end up being the surprise winner among Republicans tonight. He's polling well here and has picked up some momentum amid concerns that the Obama administration's position that religious schools and hospitals provide employees health coverage including no-cost birth control.

Santorum is a "Catholic conservative, and is the only Republican currently polling better that Obama. I was orginally for Gingrich, but my wife is supporting Santorum, and she convinced me is the right candidate for the Republican Party," said Chris Perdue, an annuity wholesaler from Albertville.

No matter the outcome of the GOP caucuses tonight, it will still be a challenge for any Republican to win the state on the November presidential ballot. Minnesota hasn't voted Republican in a presidential race since choosing Richard Nixon in the landslide year of 1972.

President Barack Obama will get Gregory Kishel's vote in November because the president "best represents my political and social views."

A county bridge inspector, Kishel said the global economy and how it's "enriched only the corperations that can afford to invest" has him concerned about the future. The "blue collar working man" carries the bulk of the nation's tax burden, he added.

In Lindstrom, small businesswoman Tammy Kerr says her vote remains undecided.

She backs lower taxes, simplified reporting and the Keystone pipeline project. She plans to take part tonight in the GOP caucuses. But when she wrote us she still wasn't sure who'd get her vote.

I was (and am) a Michele Bachmann supporter, and am not really sure I support the others. I will probably write in Michele, as this is non-binding and we have a primary later on anyway.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.