Donald Trump didn't win Minnesota on Election Day but he came close, and his impact was felt statewide. The GOP expanded its Minnesota House majority and won control of the state Senate for the first time in six years.
Now, Republicans are working to keep what they've built.
GOP leaders are planning to reach out to Trump supporters to better connect them to party politics and get them involved with an eye toward 2018 and an open governor's seat, said Republican Party of Minnesota Chair Keith Downey.
• Earlier: Trump wave rolls across Minnesota
&bull More: Full election 2016 results
He acknowledged that some might not be interested in the invitation, but said he hopes to get all of the state's Trump voters to continue pushing the GOP's national messages, especially across social media.
"When they repeal and replace Obamacare, when we address immigration, when we address tax reform, all of those things, we're going to have a great opportunity," he said. "They will be uniquely situated to be the voices of what that agenda looks like and what's happening."
The momentum for Trump was on full display two days before the election when he held an airport rally that drew thousands. Minnesota hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972. Trump came within 44,000 votes of ending that streak.
"Trump in many ways kind of ran against the parties. I understand and I accept that," Downey said. "If they want to stay engaged and mobilized and organized and participate in politics outside of the party, that's a second way to do it too, right? No one is going to force them that they have to come into the party and be part of our structures and things."
One potential recruit is Bob Anderson of Hastings, who was a Trump delegate to the Republican state convention. Anderson had never before been involved in Republican politics. But he was a two-time Independence Party candidate for Congress, in 2008 and 2010.
Anderson expects Trump supporters will change the Republican party.
"I just haven't seen any reason prior to this to get involved in the Republican Party," he said. "It was just more of the same to me. I think this new Trump movement will definitely be involved and will be helping make shape the party moving forward."
Anderson said he's already talking with other Trump supporters about potential candidates for governor to get behind in 2018. Republicans who did not fully embrace Trump during this year's campaign, he added, should not be on the list.
"From the people I've seen, especially the ones that scattered from Trump and really wouldn't even support him, are of no interest to me," he said. "And I'm sure many of the same Trump supporters like myself would feel the same way."
Under that criteria, some big names being mentioned as possible GOP candidates would be snubbed.
During the heat of the campaign, House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Minnesota U.S. House Rep. Erik Paulsen were among those distancing themselves from Trump. Both are expected to speak to the party faithful on Saturday during a Republican Party Central Committee meeting.
Paulsen said he's looking ahead.
"Even in a district like mine, where actually Trump lost by 10 percentage points, people understand different areas of the state have different feelings," he said. "But we're all singing the same tune and moving forward and working together. That's what they want to hear."
Republican U.S. House Rep. Tom Emmer, who has been a strong Trump supporter, sees a simple strategy for keeping new GOP voters in the fold. Trump voters want a smaller, less intrusive government, he said, and Republicans need to deliver.
"You can have the greatest marketing program in the world, right?" he said. "But if the product you put out is flat or it doesn't meet expectations, guess what? The customer is going to shop elsewhere."
MPR News reporter Brian Bakst contributed to this report.