Marco Rubio to rally supporters in Minnesota Tuesday


Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio will be in Minnesota this week to rally supporters ahead of the state's March 1 caucuses.

Rubio's Minnesota team posted about the visit on Facebook Sunday morning, saying the Florida Senator will speak at Tuesday afternoon's event at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis.

Doors will open at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, with the event starting at 3:15 p.m. Attendees must RSVP here.

A spokesperson for the campaign told MPR News the time is subject to change, noting the Nevada Republican caucuses are also on Tuesday.

Rubio's website shows he will be making several campaign stops on his way to Nevada ahead of the primaries, including a rally in Las Vegas Tuesday morning and one in Michigan Tuesday night.

Rubio is running to be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. To get there, he’ll need to gather delegates through the primary and caucus process – a way for Democrats and Republicans in each state to weigh in on who they’d like to see their party’s nominee be.

Nevada is the fourth state to hold a primary or caucuses for the 2016 election, according to the New York Times. Republicans have to get 1,237 delegates to win the nomination. So far, Donald Trump is leading with 61 delegates after winning South Carolina's primary on Saturday, followed by Ted Cruz, who has 11, while Rubio is in third with 10 delegates.

The Star Tribune says Rubio, who finished second in South Carolina, is looking to win over Republicans who are "unsettled by Trump's unconventional, anti-establishment candidacy."

Minnesota caucuses

The Minnesota caucuses are March 1 at 7 p.m. – a day known as “Super Tuesday”, as it’s one of 12 states selecting its preferred candidates then. There are 38 GOP delegates up for grabs in the state.

You can find where to vote in the Minnesota caucuses by going here, to the Secretary of State website. To take part in a caucus, all you have to do is be registered to vote, go to the caucus for the precinct you live in, and “generally agree with” the principles of the political party holding the caucus.

Last month, the Star Tribune published a survey asking Minnesota Republicans who they would prefer to see as the Republican presidential nominee. Rubio came in first place with 23 percent of the vote – just ahead of Cruz at 21 percent.

The Pioneer Press says Rubio may not be the only candidate to make a stop in the state before March 1, noting Democrat Bernie Sanders is "more than likely" to visit this week.

Sanders, as well as Democrat Hillary Clinton have both visited Minnesota in recent weeks. They are also spending thousands of dollars on ads here, MPR News notes.

On the Republican side, Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have both rallied supporters in Minnesota. While the Star Tribune says Trump's campaign has held a few organizational meetings in Minnesota in the last week.

Rubio in Minnesota

Rubio's campaign hinted at an upcoming visit to Minnesota last week, the same day he officially opened his Minnesota campaign office in Maple Grove.

He became the first Republican candidate to open an office in the state, the Pioneer Press says.

Rubio previously announced Jeff Johnson, former Hennepin County commissioner and the 2014 Republican gubernatorial candidate, as the state chairperson for his campaign. Last month, he named the rest of his Minnesota leadership team ahead of a fundraiser in Minneapolis.

And recently, more Minnesota Republicans have thrown their support behind Rubio. Former Sen. Norm Coleman, who was backing Jeb Bush, announced his support for Rubio after Bush dropped out of the race, the Star Tribune reports.

He also has the support of U.S. Rep. John Kline, among others.

Next Up