Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Democrats pan Trump’s play for Minnesota as a ‘head fake’

By 37ci3 May17,2024

No state screams “blue wall” louder than Minnesota.

It hasn’t gone Republican since Richard Nixon in 1972.

Democrats say former President Donald Trump doesn’t stand a chance there.

However, President Joe Biden’s campaign is pressing top local Democratic surrogates — Gov. Tim Waltz and Sen. Tina Smith — on Friday to oppose Trump’s visit to the state. It’s on the heels of first lady Jill Biden is campaigning in the state last month.

All the attention suggests that both campaigns see Minnesota as an emerging battleground in a race that will be decided in relatively few states. Democrats readily admit that a Trump victory there would spell disaster for them across the country. But those in the party who know the state best insist that talk of Trump stealing it is overblown.

“President Biden is going to win,” Walz said in an interview. “It’s no surprise that Donald Trump said something that wasn’t true.”

Walz drew attention to Biden He was closer to winning Texas In 2020, Trump won Minnesota. It came after Trump famously said he would “never come back” to the state if he lost. He added that Biden has brought the state billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.

Trump also lost the state to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“But we don’t take it for granted. We will have the necessary infrastructure,” Valz said. “So it’s bogus to say you’re going to win Minnesota? “Nice try, but we’ll do our job.”

Minnesota lacks constituencies that Trump tends to appeal to, including blue-collar workers and those without college degrees. And it mostly favors abortion rights.

Although he regularly elected Democratic statewide officials, a notable exception was the 1998 gubernatorial victory of Reform Party candidate Jesse “The Body” Ventura, a former professional wrestler who won after running a low-budget campaign.

Biden the campaign projected confidence in Minnesota, where it already has staff and organization, while Trump was virtually absent from the campaign.

“Basically, what we’re doing in Minnesota and Virginia … we’re not taking any state or any vote for granted. We have a team on the ground in both of these places, working hard to attract voters, build trust in the community as we open offices, increase the footprint of our staff,” said Dan Kanninen, director of battleground states for the Biden campaign. final briefing for reporters. “We feel strong – Biden -Harris’ coalition – has been strong in the midterm and annual elections in both Minnesota and Virginia and will continue to be strong for us in the fall of 2024.”

However, Trump’s team has been bullish for weeks the ability to gain ground in the state. At a May 4 event in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump’s top advisers told donors that a six-way test in Minnesota, including four independents, tied Trump and Biden at 40%. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. weight was 9%.

“Joe Biden is so weak and the Democrats are so messed up that not only is President Trump winning every traditional battleground, but long-blue states like Minnesota, Virginia and New Jersey are now in play,” Carolyn Leavitt, the Trump campaign’s national press secretary, said in a statement. it is said. “President Trump is offended by his message of victory and increases his action every day. Joe Biden’s campaign should be horrified.”

Outside court in New York this week, Trump again addressed his prospects in Minnesota.

“We think we have a really good chance in Minnesota, we have great friendships there. We’ve done a lot for the industry,” he said. “We’ve done a lot for everything in Minnesota. We’ve worked hard on Minnesota.”

Trump appears at the state Republican Party’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner on Friday evening.

In an electoral battleground where few states are actually in play, both campaigns are looking for opportunities to win — or at least give the opposition a strong enough head honcho to spend precious money playing defense. Even with that in mind, Trump campaign officials are steadfast and consistent in their optimism about Minnesota.

General Counsel Chris LaCivita called the state “a real opportunity” in a recent interview.

Democrats point out that some of Trump’s same big talk was true in 2020, before Biden easily won the state by nearly 7 percentage points, winning 52.4 percent of the vote to Trump’s 45.3 percent.

“There was a time in Minnesota in 2020 when the numbers were closed. But then it quickly reopened with a good Democratic leader. You have a really strong Democratic brand and Democratic operation in Minnesota. You have a Democratic governor who always helps you with a few points,” said veteran Democratic pollster Celinda Lake. “You have a state that fundamentally disagrees with Donald Trump on many of his views, his priorities and, most importantly, his character.

“I mean, if you want the opposite of ‘Minnesota beautiful,’ go vote for Donald Trump,” he added.

Complicating the equation for Democrats is the commute, which has become evident in Minnesota’s primary elections this year. Later on the Democratic ballot, the “non-loyal” option won 19% of the vote, supported by large Arab and Muslim populations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, known as the Twin Cities. Minnesota had a larger protest vote than Michigan, which has a large Arab and Muslim population. There, 13% voted “unrestricted” in the primary vote. In any case, the campaign was a clear message to Biden, who opposes the Israel-Hamas war.

“There is no doubt that we have work to do in the next six months to unite our party. And we will,” said Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

“But I have often said that this moment does not predict what will happen on November 5. … It’s still quite an existential choice for voters. When I talk to a number of people who didn’t commit to our protest primary vote, they still tell me that they’re still very disappointed by what’s happening in the Middle East right now, but they’re still going to vote for Joe Biden. and they understand the importance of this election.”

Walz pointed to Trump’s nomination of former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, saying there was a split in his own party to contend with. Collect 20% A majority in last week’s Indiana primary despite dropping out of contention in March.

Lake argued that Democrats who drifted away from Biden in the primary will eventually return to him, saying, “It’s a long way from ‘disloyal’ to Donald Trump.”

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