One of the more important dates of the Saskatchewan NDP leadership campaign passed yesterday, as the membership deadline will close the list of members eligible to vote for the party's next leader.
We'll find out the official numbers before too long, but for now two of the campaigns have given an indication what we can expect. 2,000 new or renewed memberships were sold through Ryan Meili's campaign according to Aaron Genest (in a post which is well worth a read generally in discussing the background work needed to make a social media campaign effective). And Trent Wotherspoon had already sold "several hundred new memberships" according to Friday's final membership appeal on his campaign's Facebook page.
Barring a surprise either from the remaining candidates or from new members signing up through other means, those numbers figure to include most of the new supporters in the leadership voter pool.
In other news, a few relatively significant late-campaign endorsements were revealed over the past week. Athabasca MLA and deputy leader Buckley Belanger endorsed Wotherspoon, allowing him to claim additional support from a well-respected member of the NDP's current caucus while also boosting his apparent geographic base.
Meanwhile, Broten unveiled two endorsements of particular note. A nod from the United Steelworkers serves as both his first labour endorsement (at least to my recollection) and somewhat of a coup in light of Erin Weir's work for the union. And his endorsement by Anne Blakeney lends some weight to Broten's regular invocations of Allan Blakeney's legacy, while also highlighting his establishment support in Saskatoon.
Of course, it's the members rather than the endorsers who will ultimately vote on the leadership. And now that one of the great unknowns of the campaign (the composition of the eligible membership) is settled, we can expect to see the campaigns focus entirely on targetting voters as the convention approaches.