Trump Pulling Even with Clinton in Minnesota

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Local and national polling shows a neck and neck race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in Minnesota.

MINNEAPOLIS, M.N. — For over 50 years, Minnesota has remained a safe haven for democratic presidential votes. Even in 1984, Minnesota was the only state in the union to vote for Walter Mondale  instead of Ronald Reagan, who won in a landslide.

However, a new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll shows the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is much closer than originally thought in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The new poll numbers released by KSTP this morning show Clinton leading Trump 46% to 39% with a margin of error of +/- 4%.

A Breitbart/Gravis poll released early this afternoon shows that Trump and Clinton are tied in Minnesota, each with 43% of likely voters casting a ballot in their favor.

The news means Trump is gaining rapidly. About a week ago the Star Tribune reported Trump had cut Clinton’s lead in half to 44% vs 38%.

The Breitbart article points to the issue of Obama’s plan to increase the number of refugees in the US as a key indicator in the polling swing. This morning, Reuters announced that a union that represents 5,000 federal immigration officers endorsed Trump ahead of tonight’s debate.  

If Breitbart and KSTP polls hold through the end of October, Minnesota could be in play as a battleground state for the first time in 50 years and potentially be the deciding factor of who will be the next President of the United States.

Most nationwide polls have Minnesota as a solid blue state in favor of Hillary Clinton. A CNN electoral map shows MN to be a solid democrat state. However, a recent Real Clear Politics map is now showing Minnesota as a leaning democrat state.

While Clinton potentially leads Trump in the current electoral college count 198 to 165 based on polling, there are currently 175 toss up votes. If you remove Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes from Clinton’s column, she would have 23 more electoral college votes than Trump.

Minnesota was already seen as a State in play after the results of the March 1st presidential primary. Republicans in Minnesota selected Florida Senator Marco Rubio while Democrats selected New Hampshire Senator Bernie Sanders as their primary winners.

Trump came in third place behind Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Rubio with 21.3% of the vote, while Clinton came in with just 38.4% percent of the vote while Sanders came in with 61.6% of the vote.

Fast forward six months and both Rubio and Sanders are out of the race and are focused on getting their parties respective candidate elected.

Both Clinton and Trump have struggled to receive votes from different demographic groups and issues. Clinton has struggled with the image of her honesty and the millennial vote, while Trump has had issues with minorities and women.

The KSTP/SurveyUSA poll shows Trump doing well with independent and men, while Clinton has done well with people over 50 and women. Both Trump and Clinton are tied at 39% each with the millennial vote.

These new poll numbers could prove well for down ballot races in Minnesota looking for an extra boost this presidential cycle. Candidates with close races like Stewart Mills in CD8 and Jason Lewis in CD2 could benefit from the undecided votes. Republicans in St. Paul could also benefit from this uncertainty as they look to maintain control of the House and win the Senate.

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Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.