Biden to campaign in Minnesota as GOP ups pressure in 'sleeper' state

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE will travel to Minnesota on Friday to rev up Democratic voters on the same day President TrumpDonald TrumpEx-DOJ official Rosenstein says he was not aware of subpoena targeting Democrats: report Ex-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' MORE plans to be in the state, which is emerging as a late-stage battleground.

Biden is scheduled to participate in a drive-in event in St. Paul where his campaign says he will “discuss bringing Americans together to address the crises facing the country and winning the battle for the soul of the nation.”

He will speak at 3:45 p.m. local time and urge Minnesotans to vote, his campaign announced Thursday. 


Trump is planning to hold a “Make America Great Again” rally the Rochester airport at 5 p.m. Friday. 

The state, which has voted reliably for Democrats in recent presidential elections, is emerging as a late-stage battleground as Trump looks to steal blue states from his Democratic opponent like he did in 2016, when he unexpectedly won Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. 

Trump lost Minnesota to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' Huma Abedin announces book deal Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records MORE by fewer than 45,000 votes in 2016 despite paying little attention to the state.

He has since visited it multiple times. 

Senate Republicans also think they have a chance of upsetting Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithTop union unveils national town hall strategy to push Biden's jobs plan Bipartisan agreement on need for better information about college costs To reverse the teaching shortage in low-income communities, give educators incentive to stay MORE (D-Minn.), who has been generally regarded as a safe incumbent and whose race is rated “Solid D” by the Cook Political Report.

Senate Majoirty Whip John ThuneJohn Randolph Thune'The era of bipartisanship is over': Senate hits rough patch Bipartisan talks sow division among Democrats Senate passes long-delayed China bill MORE (R-S.D.) on Wednesday called Minnesota a “sleeper.”


“I think that people are looking at the security issues if you live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs,” Thune told The Hill.

He thinks Trump’s law-and-order message will play well with suburban voters concerned about the rioting and looting in the city after the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis in late May. 

Paul Goren, a professor of political science at the University of Minnesota, said Trump “came really, really close” to winning Minnesota four years ago.

“Minnesota has a long history of this kind of independent streak and support for populism,” he said, pointing to former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura’s surprising win in the 1998 gubernatorial race. “In a normal election cycle, that sort of populist streak and anti-incumbent tendency — that’s always kind of a wild card."

“I think it’s less of a wild card in the current election environment because Trump has been the incumbent, he has a record to run on,” he added.  

A Survey USA poll conducted from Oct. 23 to 27 for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities showed Biden with a 5-point lead, 47 percent to 42 percent.

Goren said Trump has been hurt by surging COVID-19 infections in the state.

“The pandemic is spiking in Minnesota,” he said. “Our numbers in Minnesota have been trending in the wrong direction the past several weeks.”