Why is Minnesota so important to President Donald Trump if the state only carries 10 Electoral College votes?
In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton won Minnesota’s 10 Electoral College votes with a 46.9% to 45.4% popular vote margin. In the same election, Republicans won control of both the Minnesota State Senate and House of Representatives. Prior to the election, The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (the state’s socialist Democratic Party) held control on the Senate, but not the House. At the time of the 2016 election, Minnesota’s governor was Democrat Mark Dayton.
After the 2018 election, Dayton was replaced by Democrat Tim Walz as governor. Democrats regained control of the state House, but Republicans retained a very narrow lead in the state Senate. The state’s US Senators are both Democrats. Minnesota’s 8 US Representatives consist of 5 Democrats and 3 Republicans.
The most infamous of Minnesota’s US Representatives is Somalia born Ilhan Abdullah Omar. She has gained a lot of liberal media attention due to her outspoken anti-Semitism and hatred for President Donald Trump and everything he stands for.
Minnesota has a large enclave of Muslims, many from places like Somalia and other Middle East countries. Typically, the majority of the Muslims vote Democratic. With the popularity of Omar, a Democratic governor and state House of Representatives, along with 2 Democratic US Senators and 5 of 8 Democratic US House of Representatives, and knowing that Hillary Clinton carried the state in the 2016 election, I found it surprising to see CNN declaring that President Trump could win Minnesota in the 2020 election as they reported:
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to brag.
“In 2016 I almost won Minnesota,” he wrote. “In 2020, because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar, & the fact that Minnesota is having its best economic year ever, I will win the State! ‘We are going to be a nightmare to the President,’ she say. No, AOC Plus 3 are a Nightmare for America!” …
Now as to the broader competitiveness of Minnesota, there’s no question the state has been trending more competitive for Republicans in recent years. In 2012, it was the 11th closest state — by margin of victory — as then-President Barack Obama won it by 7.6 points over Mitt Romney. In 2016, it was the 6th closest state, with Clinton winning by 1.5 points.
That’s in keeping with Trump’s gains more broadly in the industrial Midwest — putting Ohio out of reach and winning in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — where GOP presidential nominees hadn’t won in decades. (The last time a Republican won Minnesota at the presidential level was in 1972, when the state voted for Richard Nixon.)
Like those other Midwestern states, Minnesota is heavily white — 80% of the population — and older. There are also large rural areas in the state — places where Trump significantly outperformed a generic Republican in 2016.
And Republicans have had some moderate level of success there — having elected Tim Pawlenty as governor for two terms as well as Norm Coleman and Rod Grams in the last few decades.
Even in the 2018 election — not exactly a good one for Republicans nationally — Minnesota was a bright spot, with Republicans winning two open seats in the state.
All of which means that, yes, it is possible that Trump can turn Minnesota from blue to red next November. In fact, Minnesota looks like his best (only?) chance to win a state that he lost in 2016. But no, Ilhan Omar will not have much to do with Trump winning or losing.
With fifteen and a half months before the 2020 elections, it is highly unusual for a liberal news outlet like CNN to publish such a report as this. One has to wonder if this is just the first of many more reports indicating that liberals are realizing that due to the strong economy that President Trump has a very good chance of winning re-election. In fact, if most Americans were smart enough to see their own personal benefits of Trump economics, Trump should have a decisive victory.
With Omar being so outspoken against Trump, winning her state in 2020 would be a feather in Trump’s victory hat.