Trump, RNC Will Make Big Push to Turn Minnesota ‘Red’

Trump, RNC Will Make Big Push to Turn Minnesota ‘Red’
Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks to guests at the annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner hosted by the Minnesota Republican party in St. Paul, Minn., on May 17, 2024. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump wants to add Minnesota to the list of “blue” Democrat states that he will try to flip to Republican “red.”

“This is an official expansion … of the electoral map,” he declared on May 17 at a fundraising dinner in Saint Paul, Minnesota. That state hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, according to 270towin.com.

But polls are showing “we are right on the cusp of turning the state red,” Alex Plechash, a Minnesota Republican National Committeeman, told The Epoch Times.

The RealClearPolitics average of Minnesota polls shows President Biden drawing 43 percent support, ahead of President Trump by about 2 percentage points. But that’s within the margin of error, making the race a statistical dead heat.

“He’s gaining ground,” Mr. Plechash said about President Trump, which is why the Republican National Committee “now looks at Minnesota as being one of the prime target states to focus their staff and their finances.”

Mr. Plechash said he sensed “a lot of excitement” among the 1,400 people who came to hear the former president speak at the annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner.

Several times, the crowd erupted in applause and chants of “Trump, Trump, Trump!” and “USA! USA!” The audience howled at his jokes, such as this one: When he noticed the podium moving, he quipped, “I notice it keeps tilting further left … like too many other things.”

Tickets for the GOP event at the Saint Paul River Center started at $500 and ranged to $100,000 for a VIP table of 10; The Epoch Times was unable to immediately determine the amount raised and how it will be distributed.

President Trump’s Minnesota speech marks his latest foray into less-friendly territory. In recent weeks, he has stated that he is pushing for wins in other reliably Democrat states such as New Jersey, where tens of thousands gathered along the Jersey shore for a May 11 rally.

He also previously declared he will “make a big play” for Democrat-dominant New York. The former president has made campaign stops while forced to attend his criminal trial, and has hinted that he may hold a much bigger event in the Big Apple. Since the New York trial began on April 15, it has kept him off the campaign trail four days a week.

On Friday, a judge granted a one-day recess so that President Trump could attend the graduation of his youngest son, Barron, 18, from a private high school in South Florida. The teen stands 6 feet, 9 inches tall, so “he was easy to spot,” President Trump said, adding, “It was a beautiful thing to watch.”

Hours later, the former president flew to Minnesota for the GOP event that was set only about a week ago, after it became apparent that he would be available.

President Trump began his Minnesota speech, which spanned more than an hour, just after 9 p.m. Eastern.

His remarks came after North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, a potential VP pick for President Trump, told the Minnesota crowd that he has witnessed the former president’s schedule firsthand.

“He sits in the courtroom all day; he works all night,” Mr. Burgum said, sharing insights from his travels with President Trump aboard “Trump Force One,” his private aircraft. “He’s the hardest-working President we’ve ever had.”

In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump narrowly lost Minnesota to his Democrat opponent, Hillary Clinton, but won the presidency. In 2020, President Trump lost the state by about 7 percent to then-candidate Joe Biden, who was also declared the national winner.

During his speech Friday, the former president disputed both of those losses in Minnesota; he has repeatedly accused Democrats of cheating in elections.

The Biden campaign responded on social media, saying: “Trump, who lost Minnesota twice, claims he won Minnesota twice.”

Democrats denounce President Trump and supporters who doubt the election results as “election deniers,” but investigations into possible election improprieties are continuing in several jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election results led to criminal charges against him in the District of Columbia and in Atlanta, Ga.

In Florida, he is accused of mishandling classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort home.

In New York, he is standing trial on accusations that he illegally altered business records to conceal payments under a non-disclosure agreement.

President Trump alleges all those cases are politically motivated and says this “lawfare” constitutes “election interference.” To overcome it, he urged supporters to vote for him this fall in such large numbers that the margin of victory will be “too big to rig.”

“If you want to save America, register, get an absentee or a mail-in ballot, vote early, and vote on Election Day,” he told the Saint Paul crowd.

President Trump urged people to encourage infrequent voters to cast ballots. “You’ve gotta get people that love us … but they’re just not used to voting,” he said.

As is the case with many other U.S. states, Minnesota’s rural and suburban areas are “red” while big cities—such as Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, and Duluth—are “pretty heavy ‘blue,’” Mr. Plechash said.

People in the inner cities might not yet consider themselves to be supporting Trump, he said, but they’re trending toward “being disgusted.” Many people harbor concerns over border security, the economy, inflation, and international affairs, Mr. Plechash said.

During the Biden administration, “inflation has come like a thief in the night,” Mr. Burgum said. President Biden has countered by blaming corporate greed and “shrinkflation,” saying companies are reducing the size of packaged goods while charging higher prices.

Mr. Plechash thinks that Minnesotans, like many Americans, are rebelling against “the whole social crazy agenda that’s being promoted around the country,” such as “transgender issues and abortion on demand up until the moment of birth.”

Further, he said, the criminal prosecutions of President Trump are “backfiring” because “people are seeing that it’s political.”

Authorities have denied political motives, but congressional committees are investigating those allegations.

From The Epoch Times

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