Trump campaign 'going all-in' to win Minnesota

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE’s reelection campaign says it has reserved $14 million in air time in Minnesota between Labor Day and Election Day as polls show a tight race in a state that the Republican presidential nominee has not carried since 1972.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said Minnesota represents one of the president’s best opportunities to expand the map in 2020.

“We’re going all-in on Minnesota,” Miller said. “We think it’s a state we can win.”

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The Democratic presidential winning streak in Minnesota is the longest in the country.

President Obama won Minnesota by nearly 8 points in 2012. Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Biden leads Trump by 12 points among Catholic voters: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden goes on offense MORE carried the state by 1.5 points over Trump, despite neither campaign going on the airwaves there in 2016. Obama won 42 counties in Minnesota in 2012, compared to nine that went for Clinton in 2016.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE’s campaign is taking the challenge from Trump seriously.

The Biden campaign went up with a new round of television ads in Minnesota this week and has about $3 million reserved there between Labor Day and Election Day. 

Biden has said he will hit the campaign trail again after Labor Day and he listed Minnesota as one of his first stops, along with the core battlegrounds of Arizona, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“The fact that Biden is spending one of his first above ground excursions in Minnesota shows he’s on defense," said Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien. "That would be like our campaign scheduling a trip to the reddest state in the country. It shows how the president has changed the map and how Joe Biden and the Democrats' radical policies aren’t playing in the Midwest like they used to.”

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A Fox News poll from July found Biden ahead by 13 points in Minnesota. More recently, an Emerson survey from August found Biden ahead by 3 points, and a Trafalgar Group survey found Trump and Biden in a statistical tie.

Vice President Pence visited Duluth on his first stop following the GOP convention last week, where he held an event to highlight endorsements from six Minnesota mayors hailing from the state’s Iron Range, some of whom are former Democrats.

Eveleth, Minn., Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich, a former Democrat, spoke at the GOP convention, where he said Trump would be the best candidate to represent the state’s mining interests.

The Trump campaign said there has been a cultural shift in Minnesota, similar to what played out in Rust Belt and Midwestern states in 2016, when Trump became the first GOP presidential candidate in decades to win Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Polls show Biden leading in all three of the former “blue wall” states at the moment, although his lead is not as big as it is in the national polls and surveys have tightened in recent weeks. 

The Trump campaign noted that if the president keeps Florida, Arizona and North Carolina in his column, Biden will have to run the board in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to win the Electoral College. 

“Democrats would have to shut us out and go four for four in those states, and I don’t think they can do it,” Miller said.

Still, the president’s campaign is on defense in states he won handily in 2016, including Georgia, Ohio and Iowa, where polls are close and both campaigns are up on the airwaves.