MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Campaign 2020 is turning its attention to the Midwest.

President Donald Trump is holding campaign stops in Mankato and Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Monday, as Democrats kick off their virtual convention in Milwaukee.

A new CBS Battleground Tracker finds both states as “likely Democratic” in November, but an unprecedented voter turnout could flip these key states.

Trump narrowly lost Minnesota to then presidential opponent Hilary Clinton in 2016. If he were to turn the state red this year, it would be the first time for the state in decades, according to Augsburg University political science professor Andy Aoki.

“Blue-collar workers are no longer as strongly Democratic, and so in Minnesota, of course, up on the Iron Range, that was a real stronghold of Democratic voters that’s weakened now,” Aoki said.

He says Trump will likely use the current debate on defunding police departments to swing voters.

READ MORE: Reality Check: Does Joe Biden Support Defunding The Police?

“He’s trying to convince them that the country will be a more dangerous place if Biden is elected. Also I think they’re hoping there’s going to be some improvement in the pandemic,” Aoki said.

This election also could already be one for the history books in turnout. Last week’s primary turnout was the highest in Minneapolis in more than 50 years.

St. Paul voter Ray Skowyra says the myriad issues will likely compel more Minnesotans to vote.

“I just think there’s so much going on between the virus, obviously, the economy, all of the racial issues we have,” Skowyra said.

Ashley Marrone, also from St. Paul, says she feels there is more at stake.

“It’s so much turmoil, and I think now is a chance when we feel like we can have some sort of control,” Marrone said.

As the Democrat National Convention kicks off Monday, Minnesota voters will likely also learn more about Biden’s recently-announced running mate, Kamala Harris.

READ MORE: What Makes A Good Vice Presidential Pick? Walter Mondale Answers

Wisconsin also showed in the poll to be leaning Democrat, but with an even narrow margin than in Minnesota. Trump won Wisconsin by 1% in the last presidential election. That swing state victory helped secure his White House win.

Kate Raddatz

Comments (4)