Peter Nicholas, who covers the White House for The Atlantic, explained Friday morning in a wide-ranging article that Minnesota may be the key to President Donald Trump’s re-election.
“Minnesota Democrats estimate that as many as 250,000 white residents who didn’t go to college — the heart of Trump’s base — weren’t registered to vote in 2016. Republicans are taking pains to find them,” he writes. “While Democrats in the state have largely suspended door-to-door campaigning because of the pandemic, Republicans have kept at it. Last week, volunteers knocked on more than 130,000 doors in the state, a campaign official told me.”
Alpha News recently reported the total number is over 1 million doors.
Trump’s campaign also has booked more than $1 million in TV advertising in the Gopher State during the campaign’s closing days; that’s more than it spent here in the preceding three weeks combined. Additionally, they deployed 60 staffers in Minnesota, a level surpassing any GOP campaign in memory.
Hillary Clinton won Minnesota by only 1.5 points, despite some final polls showing her up double digits.
Joe Biden and Trump both visited the Land of 10,000 Lakes today, confirming the state’s 2020 relevance. While no state has gone longer without voting Republican, recent polls show Minnesota within single digits in both the presidential and U.S. Senate races, with the two Republicans gaining momentum. Trump is within the margin of error in most polls.
With Biden failing to reach 50% even in friendly polls, his campaign announced yesterday he would hold a drive-in car rally in St. Paul this afternoon — his second visit to the state since winning his party’s nomination — just before a previously-scheduled Trump rally in Rochester.
The Trump event — which state officials asked the campaign to produce a COVID-19 preparedness plan for or limit attendance to 250 — will be the president’s fourth campaign visit to the state this election cycle.
Trump and his team believe Minnesota is in play and need to expand the map. This also keeps the campaign on offense, rather than solely defending states he won four years ago.
As Ed Morrissey reported Thursday, another caveat is Kanye West on the Minnesota ballot, which “might be creating some serious issues for Biden. West seems to be taken seriously enough here that West outpolls Libertarian Party nominee Jo Jorgensen … Trump’s performance in the black-voter demo suggests that West is actually taking his black voters from Trump rather than Biden, but the Asian demo results suggest more that West’s pulling from Biden.”
With Trump consistently trailing in Michigan and Wisconsin — while neck-and-neck in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio — the president is better positioned for another Electoral College victory if he can flip a state Democrats won in 2016.
Whereas New Hampshire and Nevada are also potential Trump pick-ups, Minnesota has as many Electoral College votes as those states combined. Minnesota also has the same number of electoral votes as Wisconsin, where Trump won by only 22,000 votes in 2016. Winning Minnesota, aside from the psychological aspect of a huge upset, would give Trump leeway to lose another state he won last time.