Politics and Government

Trump to make 1st campaign stop in Minnesota of latest presidential run

A man speaks behind a podium.
President Donald Trump speaks at a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at Duluth International Airport in Duluth on Sept. 30, 2020.
Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images

Updated: 2:20 p.m.

Former President Donald Trump will return to Minnesota next week as he tries to add the state to his electoral calculations despite two prior defeats.

Trump has reportedly told donors and other associates that he has a pathway to flip Minnesota, a state that Democrats have had a lock on in presidential races for longer than anywhere else. No Republican has won Minnesota since Richard Nixon’s 1972 landslide re-election victory.

Trump was announced Monday as the featured speaker for the Republican Party of Minnesota’s main fundraising dinner. The Lincoln-Reagan Dinner is being held in conjunction with the Republican Party’s state convention in St. Paul, which begins on May 17.

Trump narrowly lost Minnesota in 2016 to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, but was defeated by a wider margin — seven percentage points — in 2020 by now-President Joe Biden.

In one of his final Minnesota rallies of the campaign four years ago, he told supporters they needed to deliver a victory or he would turn his back on the state. “I lose Minnesota, I’m never coming back,” he said in Duluth in September 2020.

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer is chairing the 2024 Trump effort in Minnesota.

“I could not be more excited to host President Trump and officially kick off our 2024 campaign,” Emmer said in a news release, calling Biden out for “failed policies” and saying “President Trump is the only choice to lead our country forward.”

Recent polling has shown a closer race than last time shaping up between Biden and Trump in Minnesota. Democrats say they’re bracing for a tough fight to keep the 10 electoral college votes in their column.

“By doubling down on Donald Trump and his MAGA agenda, Minnesota Republicans are tying their fate to his in November,” DFL Party Chair Ken Martin said in a written statement, slamming Trump for his role in restricting abortion, prior attempts to repeal a nationwide health insurance law and his refusal to acknowledge his 2020 defeat. “Republicans up and down the ballot will have to answer for why they are abandoning Minnesota values and kissing Donald Trump’s ring.”

Trump has been limited in his ability to campaign on weekdays amid a hush-money trial in New York, where his attendance is required four days per week.

Last week, Trump campaigned in neighboring Wisconsin and Michigan, both battlegrounds higher up the list of 2024 targets.

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