The Gopher State has been dominated by Democrats in presidential elections since Richard Nixon but has turned a lighter shade of blue in recent years. President Donald Trump lost Minnesota to Hillary Clinton in 2016, but only by 45,593 votes.
That’s not much for the Land of 100,000 Lakes. And it is making the Trump campaign feel like it can grab the electoral votes for Minnesota, where he and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are visiting Friday. They also both visited Minnesota on Sept. 18.
Attendance will be limited to 250 people by state law, although Trump has jabbed at Minnesota laws by calling it a “peaceful protest” to get around the rally rules.
Biden maintains a single-digit lead in Minnesota in polls (down to 5%, according to Survey USA and Change Research) but some surveys suggest that Trump has closed the gap this month with his typical strength coming in rural areas. With Biden’s strength lying in the Twin Cities, Trump’s campaign just hopes it rallies better than the Vikings.
“We’re getting presidential visits four days out (of Election Day). That means we’re in play,” Minnesota-based Republic strategist Amy Koch told Fox News.
“All the early voting indicates that it’s going very well in Minnesota,” Democratic strategist Mike Erlandson told Fox News, acknowledging that the race is close but saying the Trump trip “is a little bit desperate.”
Biden is holding a drive-in rally in St. Paul while Trump is staging a rally near Rochester, where a steel plant warned employees that there could be a crowd of 25,000 people, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The location later changed to the airport in response to Minnesota officials’ reminder that gatherings are limited to 250 people.
Is the race in Minnesota up for grabs? You betcha.