MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The presidential election has taken a decidedly negative turn this past week, with the fierce debate over when Mitt Romney left his job at Bain Capitol.

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The intensity reflects the fact that this race is razor tight with some experts saying this could be repeat of 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote by 500,000 votes but lost the election in the Electoral College.

Both sides are doing everything to make sure they get Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes.

When it comes to predicting the presidential race, most experts put Minnesota in the leaning Democratic but not solidly Democratic category. And that suggests, with some effort, Romney could snatch Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes out of the Democratic Column.

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But the Obama campaign is investing a lot of resources here. The Obama campaign has seven offices in Minnesota and plans to open two more this week. Romney has no campaign offices here.

Republicans insist Romney will be fighting here. MN GOP Chair Pat Shortridge appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I feel Minnesota is in play absolutely and the reason Barack Obama has all these field offices and the reason national analysts have Minnesota, its that because they are seeing the same number I am,” he said. “Minnesota is very close at this point and there is a great opportunity because voters see what President Obama has done.”

Two polls taken in late May in Minnesota show Obama with a commanding 15 percentage point lead over Romney, but Republicans insist their own, more recent, polling in Minnesota shows Obama leading Romney in this state by less than five percentage points.

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You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy every Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Esme Murphy