Contrary to popular belief, Southwest Minneapolis has some Republicans—over 300 voted in precinct caucuses Tuesday night—and by a strong margin, they support Rep. Ron Paul.
That was the verdict in Tuesday night's straw poll of caucus-goers at the GOP caucuses across Southwest Minneapolis, bucking the state's choice of Rick Santourm. According to preliminary results released by the Minnesota Secretary of State's office at midnight, with all precincts reporting Paul led the pack with 113 votes, trailed by Mitt Romney (94 votes), Santorum (69 votes), and Newt Gingrich (28 votes).
Some caucus-goers were former—or sometimes—DFLers who'd switched sides for the evening.
Marty Teign of Fulton told Patch that while he is still undecided, he's leaning towards Paul because of the candidate's stance on lowering the national debt and the nation's current "entanglements" around the world.
"No other candidate offers a serious answer," he said.
"I have kids and I'm worried about their future," said Rick, another Fulton resident who wouldn't give his last name. "Forty years ago I was in this same very room (at a caucus) working for George McGovern. Life is a journey."
In Ward 13's caucuses at , where Southwest Minneapolis Patch spent most of Tuesday night, Paul supporters mounted a strong effort to get their members elected delegates to the local party convention. These delegates could help Paul pick up support at the state and national Republican conventions.
"The caucus system works to our advantage, because only the most passionate show up," said Paul supporter Judy Shea.
She and her son-in-law Chad Weigelt turned out at the Ward 13 caucuses along with many other Paul supporters. Well-organized, they seemed to take most of the Ward 13 delegate seats despite Paul's broader appeal with younger voters, many of whom do not live in the ward.