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Romney Wins New Hampshire; Minnesota, Woodbury Caucuses Coming

As Republican voters across the country, watched Mitt Romney win the New Hampshire primary, many Minnesotans probably wondered when they get to cast their vote.

Gov. Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, and with the presidential election season gearing up, it looks more and more like Minnesota will have a prominent role in selecting the Republican Party's nominee to run for the White House.

As our , Romney easily won Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, with Congressman Ron Paul finishing a closer-than-expected second, about 14 percentage points behind. Gov. John Huntsman finished third. Iowa caucus surprise finisher Sen. Rick Santorum finished a ways back, some 26 points behind Romney. The numbers aren't final at this time as precincts are still reporting results.

Woodbury residents will get a chance to be a part of presidential primary season in about a month, as Minnesota holds its primary—also a caucus—on Feb. 7. Minnesota is roughly seventh in line on the primary/caucus calendar.

With nominees dwindling after each state selects its nominee, Minnesota could be poised to be a major decision-maker in the race.

When Romney addressed the crowd at Southern New Hampshire University, the race had been called in his favor and he set his sights squarely on President Barack Obama.

"The last few years have offered a lot of change but not a lot of hope," the former governor told supporters, later saying, "We know it must be better and it will be better."

The vote was primarily a Republican affair, as Democrats across the country will nominate Obama to run for a second term in the White House.

As for Feb. 7, there will be multiple caucus sites across the state, and you can see where yours is by visiting the Secretary of State's website.

Not sure what a caucus is?

A caucus helps a party gain consensus as to how voters are trying to align their political and candidate preferences. Also, at a caucus, there’s more going on than just candidate selection.

Participants sometimes select county committee chairs that in turn go to a state convention and, in some cases, a national convention.

What distinguishes a caucus from a primary is at a primary, voters don’t have to be present at one particular location at a specific time. Voters just go to their polling place and cast a vote, the same as they would do at a general election.

For a caucus you have to be physically present at wherever your designated caucus site will be, register, show your party affiliation and then participate in the process.

The caucus is very much a grassroots effort because it requires direct participation from those who are attending their respective party's caucus. Each party has its own rules and guidelines they follow.

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