The Caucus & Convention System

Caucuses and the BPOU

Caucus night is where it all begins, where the grassroots of a political party assembles on the local level. It takes place on every election year on a night in February, in each of the main political parties. Caucuses are open to the general public and are hosted by local political parties, which are Basic Political Operating Units (BPOUs).

At caucus night you will be organized into your precinct caucus to meet your Republican neighbors. Your caucus will participate in party politics and make important decisions affecting the Republican Party.

Caucus business includes various tasks. In the strawpoll you cast a vote for your preferred candidate(s) for office, which serves as an indicator of the grassroots' preferences and IS binding. Also, you may author party platform planks which could be considered for inclusion in the MNGOP Platform. Your precinct's representation in the Republican Party will be through your precinct's delegates and precinct leadership, which you get to vote for. Your nominated delegates represent your precinct at the BPOU convention. Your precinct leadership represents your precinct on the BPOU Full Committee.

We expect participants to stay involved in the SD36 party by attending Committee meetings & socials and offering assistance to candidates.


Political party conventions happen at four levels, and are hosted by the following: the BPOUs (Senate District or County parties), congressional district parties, the state party, and the national party. Each of these bodies has elected leadership and committee members who make decisions about what the organization will do.

Conventions are held at each level, and for Minnesota nearly all delegates at these conventions were orignally chosen on caucus night. Delegates at these conventions vote to endorse candidates and elect leadership, depending on the year. Delegates at a convention also form the party constitution.

The hierarchical party structure (at least for MN):

>Many precincts in a BPOU

>Many BPOUs in a congressional district

>Numerous congressional districts in each state

>Many states in the nation

An explanation of the various systems used in different states, including the caucus and convention system, and their relation to the national convention: