Monday, June 24, 2024

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Is Minnesota Really In Play?

Can traditionally deep blue Minnesota really be in

play in the presidential election as recent public 

opinion polls suggest it is?

Although polls are inexact, and only show us, at

best, a picture of the electorate in the present,

that picture can sometimes change dramatically

in a few months time. And when a race is very

close, polls don’t always predict the winner.

Nevertheless, there have been so many recent

polls by several pollsters, all showing the race 

to be a virtual tie, that it is fair to say that this

state is “in play.”

That much is a genuine surprise. Minnesota has

not voted for the Republican presidential 

nominee since 1972, and in 2020 voted 

decisively for the incumbent Joe Biden who is

running for a second term in 2024. In 2016,

the GOP nominee Donald Trump came close, but 

lost, as he did again in 2020.

Further, former President Trump was convicted

on several counts in a recent controversial New

York City trial. A number of voters in his own

party are also known to detest him, and he has

very few supporters among Democrats.

The phenomenon is not limited to Minnesota.

Mr. Trump leads by various margins in all of

the battleground states won by by Mr. Biden

in 2020, and is “in play” a few other deep blue 

states such as Virginia and New Mexico.

Since most first-term presidents win re-election,

how is this explained?

The answer can only be voter dissatisfaction,

especially among independent voters, with

the incumbent and his administration’s

policies. In recent years, this happened to

Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and  Mr.

Trump himself.

Joe Biden’s problems are well-known, and

many of them even conceded by his supporters

who generally support him and most of his

his policies.

The president’s primary problem is his age

and the frail condition he presents in his

various public appearances. Mr. Trump is only

five years younger, but appears much more 

robust in public.

Mr. Trump’s supporters seem more energized

in Minnesota, as they see m to be elsewhere, but 

even if it is conceded that the state is “in play,” 

he remains the underdog in the Gopher State 

where Mr. Biden’s party has a far superior voter 

I.D. and get-out-the-vote organization.

A Trump victory in this state would herald  an

electoral college landslide and popular vote win 

nationwide for the former president.

But there is a big difference between being 

“in play” and winning in this state, and the

Trump campaign will need a remarkable effort and 

turnout to transform their opportunity into a triumph.


 Copyright (c) 2924 by Barry Casselman. Al rights reserved.