Elephant Circus

Remembering Minnesota’s Republican caucus on campus

Republican - Madison Digiovanni

Photographer: Madison Digiovanni

The Minnesota caucuses were over a month ago now, but it’s never too late to look back on the day’s chaos; specifically, at the University of Minnesota’s Republican polling station at Anderson Hall.

After slipping a vote for Bernie—bias beware—on March 1, I headed over to Anderson to catch a glimpse of what my Republican peers were up to. The line outside of Anderson was impressive, containing a few hundred people among various age groups, many of them conversing excitedly.

Rubio and Cruz were popular, Kasich and Carson supporters were almost nonexistent, and Trump supporters, who made up 21 percent of the vote in Minnesota, were mysteriously covert. The only clear giveaway was a student sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat who declined to answer questions.

“Trump is like the court jester of our political day,” said Krista Schroeder, a resident in line to poll. “He says what people are thinking. He calls things as he sees them, but he doesn’t cite anything.”

It was clear that some folks didn’t take the other candidates very seriously, either.

Jonathan Dallman, an engineer residing in Dinkytown, indicated that Cruz “looks like a used car salesman.”

Although many caucus goers weren’t jazzed about any particular candidate, almost all of them shared resentment towards Hillary Clinton. Freshman George Fisk was one of her more vicious opponents.

“She’s a huge liar. A career criminal who only cares about power and money,” Fisk said. “I don’t think she cares about women either, even though she plays that card. I think young women agree more with what Sanders has to say anyways.”

Although many caucus goers weren’t jazzed about any particular candidate, almost all of them shared resentment towards Hillary Clinton.

The caucus process itself was painstaking. I sat in on the proceedings of district 2-10… and sat… and sat. After nearly two hours, an admittedly underprepared student, by the name of Daniel Waddell, entered to initiate the delegate process.

“Would anyone like to read a statement in favor of a particular candidate?” Waddell asked. After a moment of snickering, one brave student stood up and began chanting, “Rubio! Rubio! Rubio!”

Following that lovely fiasco, another student read an authorized statement on behalf of Rubio’s campaign, stressing the importance of defeating Clinton, at which point another pro-Rubio battle cry ensued.

Despite the hilarity of the event, it was evident through bright smiles and eager delegate pledges that voters were excited for the beginning of another political season in Minnesota.

“I’d like to volunteer for this,” said freshman Connor Forbrook. “I think everyone who has any interest should volunteer at least once. It’s a cool process.”