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Trump campaign sets online fundraising record, plans 'heavy' ad buy in Minn.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE’s campaign had its best-ever online fundraising day and plans to invest heavily on the airwaves in Minnesota in the closing days before the election.

Trump campaign manager Bill StepienBill StepienFormer Trump campaign chief Parscale reportedly planning to write a book The Memo: Trump hits out as tide moves for Biden The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory MORE said the online haul on Thursday, when Trump and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation US records 2,300 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic rises with holidays MORE squared off for the final presidential debate, was better than any online fundraising day in the 2016 or 2020 presidential cycles.

The campaign said it raised $26 million in the hours around the presidential debate, pulling in 30 percent more digitally than in any prior 24-hour period and “reactivating” 20 percent more of its past donors than in any previous debate.

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The campaign said October is already its largest online fundraising month ever.

The Trump campaign faces a massive cash deficit against Biden with just more than a week to go before Nov. 3. Biden’s campaign entered October with a cash-on-hand advantage of $114 million, a stunning reversal of fortunes after the Trump campaign entered the year with $90 million more in the bank.

The Trump campaign says it will plow some of its new resources into a large ad buy in Minnesota, which has not gone for the Republican presidential nominee since 1972.

“The new buy is going to be a heavy buy. I emphasize heavy,” Stepien said. “You won’t be able to turn on the TV without seeing a Trump ad.”

Trump fell short in Minnesota in 2016 by only 44,000 votes despite not campaigning or spending on the airwaves there. This time around, the campaign says it has 60 staffers on the ground.

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The campaign says it had been up in the state as part of its national ad buy that covered Minnesota but will begin with a local ad blitz starting next week, when Vice President Pence plans to visits the state.

Biden leads by 6 points in the RealClearPolitics average of Minnesota.

Republicans say there’s been a broad cultural shift away from Democrats in the rural parts of the state, underscored by the half-dozen former Democratic mayors in the Iron Range that announced their support for Trump earlier this year.

The Trump campaign believes backlash against the destructive elements of the racial justice protests that began in Minneapolis following the police killing of George Floyd will drive GOP turnout among suburban voters in the Twin Cities, potentially tipping the state red for the first time in decades.

“Our ground game is another component to why we feel so good ... those 60 staffers are knocking on doors, getting ballots returned and what gives us heightened confidence,” Stepien said. “We now have heavy air cover for the troops that have been blanketing the state for the past two years. Joe Biden has been running a lot of TV ads. He’s got nothing on the ground. We’re now giving added air cover to the people who have been making sure that those ballots that have been sent, those voted early are returned and putting the president in position for a victory on Election Day.”