BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Republicans are gathering for a non-election year meeting that's got everything to do with next year's elections.
Delegates to the Saturday's State Central Committee meeting will express their preferences for governor and U.S. Senate in straw polls. Both races have crowded GOP fields as the party seeks challengers to face Democratic incumbents.
It's the first test of campaign strength in both contests even if the straw poll isn't a reliable indicator of who will emerge as nominees next year. Past straw poll winners have been overtaken by rivals as the race wore on.
A poor finish can be devastating to a campaign because donors and volunteers tend to align with candidates who have a legitimate shot.