By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – On Wednesday, Minnesota got major attention from the presidential campaigns.

Dr. Jill Biden was at a Prior Lake elementary school listening to teachers and local officials. Later in the afternoon, Donald Trump Jr. made a campaign appearance in Duluth.

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When you average all polls in Minnesota, it shows Joe Biden with a very narrow lead over President Trump 49% to 46%. That is close enough to be within the margin of error of most polls.

Both campaigns believe they can win Minnesota in November.

Dr. Jill Biden beamed with confidence as she spoke to reporters.

“We can absolutely win Minnesota, I looked at the polls this morning: it’s looking good. But we are not taking any vote for granted,” she said.

But the polls have been less definitive. In 2016, votes surged in for Trump, who won 78 of the state’s counties. He narrowly lost that year to Hillary Clinton, but that year has energized Republicans.

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Dr. Jill Biden visited Prior Lake, a suburban district that had gone Republican in recent elections, to talk about education.

“In this time of chaos you have created calm for your students,” she said. Dr. Biden, a college professor, appeared with the state’s top Democrats Gov. Tim Walz and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She listened to them and to local teachers from Prior Lake.

One teacher said her greatest needs are iPads for students and more counselors.

“Any support we can gain for guidance counselors and mental health experts, it’s an area that was lacking before COVID, but boy-oh-boy has COVID blown that up,” said teacher Leann Weikle.

“I just want you to know that Joe and I will always have your backs, so thank you,” Biden said.

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In less than eight weeks left until the election, many more visits by the Biden and Trump campaign are to be expected. With the Biden camp determined to keep Minnesota in the Democrat column, the Trump campaign is convinced this is one of the states they can flip from blue to red.

Esme Murphy