Minneapolis hopefuls are racing to Tuesday, trying to capture as many votes as they can in the ranked-choice system.
Donning sneakers and toting clipboards, mayoral candidates and their staffs are hitting the pavement across Minneapolis, making fervent pitches to voters ahead of Tuesday’s election.
With few other races attracting voters to the polls, turnout in the city’s first open mayoral race in a generation could be heavily dependent on each campaign’s get-out-the-vote operation. It’s also the city’s biggest test of ranked-choice voting, in which voters select three candidates in order of preference.
Anecdotally, reports indicate that many voters remain undecided, still parsing a muddled field of 35 candidates. Only eight candidates have structured campaigns, however.
“At least 50 percent of the people we talk to are undecided,” Jackie Cherryhomes said while knocking on doors at a north Minneapolis high-rise this week.
Juggling events as they try to make contact with as many voters as possible in these final days, the candidates are meeting with students, parents and voters who live in single-family homes and others who live in public high-rises.
Following is a look at how some of them have been spending time leading up to Election Day:
Mission, menu and motion
By noon on Saturday, Mark Andrew had fired up campaign volunteers at a labor rally in northeast Minneapolis, waded through a bustling coffee shop in Bryn Mawr to meet new voters and posed for a photo at a craft shop holding a leaf-shaped dish with streaks of green in homage to his environmental platform.
“I’m a leading candidate for mayor of Minneapolis and just want to say hi. … I want more bikeways and green space. … I’m campaigning to make this the greenest city in America,” he said above the din of coffee machines at Cuppa Java, moving from table to table.
As he bumped into people he already knew, campaign staffers jostled to ensure he stuck to the mission at hand: using every spare moment to win over new voters. At one point, spokeswoman Marion Greene seized his phone because he was texting old friends from high school who were flying in to help, a task a staffer could do.
After Andrew’s staff members finished in Bryn Mawr, they zipped him over in a green Prius to an Uptown deli, where he told one voter that there was a menu of 35 candidates and he was the blue-plate special.
Then it was off to campaign headquarters.
There, staffers were hunkered down on the phones, some leaning their elbows on the table, others kicking their legs up as borscht with beef bubbled on the stove.
He was hardly there long enough to give volunteers a pep talk when the Prius started up again to take him to the Midtown Greenway, where he began his sales pitch all over again.
Flooding a neighborhood
For supporters of Betsy Hodges, Saturday began at a south Minneapolis home with instructions for a morning get-out-the-vote event.
“This is why we’re going to win,” said Hodges, wearing tennis shoes and a Wonder Woman T-shirt under a blazer. “Because you guys showed up here on a beautiful Saturday morning in November three days before the election.”
Fortified with pastries and snacks from a kitchen table and armed with talking points about Hodges and a spreadsheet to contrast her with other candidates, volunteers were told to secure voters’ commitment of support and encourage them to vote.