"We could have had 400+ per class room if everyone shown up to caucus."
Much talk today centered around the record turnout Minnesota had for last night's caucus event. And being on the front line, I can attest to the bedlam. Last night came close to every Constitutional Conservative's dream - everyone being involved in the process. Well, here is the bad news - we were not even close to having everyone involved in the political process.
Just in Anoka County alone, we have 200,000 legal voters. Assuming it is 50/50 between the elephants and the donkeys, that would have meant slightly over 100,000 voters spread over all the Anoka County precincts. That number would have "sunk the ship" in most precincts as the saying goes.
So now that I have a chance to rethink last night, here are some of my observations. Using schools and churches is fine so long as people have a tepid interest in what is going on in the local government or the county. However, when you have a "hot mess" in the country, and a very contested campaign with the Republicans, you end up with a record turn out of voters. And it could have been so much worse. We could have had 400+ voters per class room if everyone shown up to caucus.
Going forward, what do we do? The caucus system is good for meeting neighbors and talking about stuff. If we go to the primary system, things will be more organized, but we will miss part of our "grass roots". That is unless folks starting coming to their BPOU meetings. (For those outside of MN, BPOU means Basic Political Organization Unit.) It is a monthly meeting with folks who want to learn mingle and activate.
In my mind, the caucus system is dead unless it is fully reconstructed. The BPOU system is lackluster. It needs to be robust. The Tea Parties are doing well, but need to do so much better. The Tea Parties and the BPOU groups need to "hold hands". But the most important grass root element remains the BPOU. It is where your local representatives and state senators come from.
Was it chaos last night? You betcha! Can we fix it in the future? We better. Otherwise the chaos might just be starting.