We’ve had a surprising number of posts on Minnesota this cycle. It’s a state that has undeniably been trending Republican for years but was thought to be just out of reach this election. Nagging anecdotal things, however, keep cropping up making this state all the more intriguing down the home stretch. Paul Ryan heads there for a fundraiser nest week but no rallies are scheduled. Far more interesting is Jill Biden heads there next week for an official rally. Now to be clear her ranking in importance is last among the big four: The President, the Vice President, the First Lady and wife of the Vice President but it is an official visit which is very telling. This also isn’t their first campaign stop in The Land of 10,000 Lakes. The big dogs visited earlier in the calendar: The President held an official rally in June and the Vice President campaigned in Minneapolis and St. Paul in August :
Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will campaign in Minnesota next week. Events aren’t finalized but a Democratic official says Biden will campaign in Minneapolis and Duluth on Oct. 19 and Oct. 20. This will be Jill Biden’s second campaign stop in Minnesota since Labor Day.
The announcement comes on the same day that Paul Ryan, the Republican nominee for Vice President, is scheduled to hold a private fundraiser in Minneapolis. Guests are being asked to give at least $1,000 to attend the event. Couples who give $25,000 can attend a private dinner with Ryan.
Ryan has no public events scheduled in the state – a signal that Minnesota may be losing the swing state status it gained in prior election cycles. Mitt Romney held a private fundraiser in Minnesota in August but held no public events.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan trail Barack Obama and Joe Biden by just four points – 43% Romney/Ryan to 47% Obama/Biden in the Presidential race in Minnesota. While Minnesota is a Democratic state, the Romney/Ryan ticket’s 45%-32% lead over Obama/Biden among Independents makes the state competitive. Romney/Ryan lead 45%-42% among men, but trail 42%-52% among women. Romney’s image is 45% favorable/44% unfavorable, which is a little weaker than Obama’s 50% favorable/44% unfavorable image. However, among Independents, Romney has a huge advantage. He has a 50% fav/33% unfav image, while Obama is at a staggeringly bad 36% fav/49% unfav. When we asked voters if what they “have seen, read or heard about the Presidential debate make you more favorable or less favorable to Mitt Romney,” fully 47% said more favorable while 29% said less favorable – a net of +18 points. Barack Obama did not fare as well: only 23% were more favorable to him because of the debate, while 45% were less favorable – a net of -22. A state that has elected several Republicans to statewide office is competitive on the Presidential level as well.