MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Democrats in Minnesota are still haunted by President Trump’s upset win in 2016. And while he did not win Minnesota, he came awfully close. Polls four years ago showed Hillary Clinton up by eight points in Duluth. She won by only 1.5%, which is why Joe Biden came to visit the northern Minnesota city on Friday.

Biden came to a union training center in the Duluth area as part of an effort to charge up the Democratic base after a sub-par turnout in the area for Clinton in 2016.

Democratic turnout in 2016 was down more than two percentage points in the Duluth area, and also down in Minnesota’s Iron Range. Trump took advantage of that lack of enthusiasm as he won over white working-class voters. Outside the union training site where the former vice president visited, Democrats insisted this time is different.

“I hope that anyone who did not vote in 2016 saw the terrible consequences of that,” said Terri Blaha, a Biden supporter. “I just think Joe Biden is going to be the president for all of us.”

Patti McPhail agreed. “He wants us to succeed, he is honest; I want honesty. I don’t want anymore lying,” she said.

“I think this year a lot of people are voting with their heart. They saw what happened in 2016 and they know we need the turnout otherwise we will have four more years of what we have been having to deal with,” said Lee Cutler.

Trump supporters did out-number Biden supporters outside the event. The Biden Campaign never officially announced the location of the training center. Trump supporters say the enthusiasm edge in northern Minnesota is on Trump’s side and that this region has turned the corner permanently into Trump territory.

“Donald Trumps chances in Minnesota are a 100% victory,” said Gerald Yourczek.

I really do believe Minnesota is going to turn red, mainly because of the terrorist attacks in Minneapolis and all these areas that are run by a liberal mayor and liberal governors,” said Kathie Luoma, a Trump supporter.

In 2016 the polls in Minnesota and across the country were not only off, they were wrong. They didn’t predict the wave of Democrats sitting it out and Trump’s success with white working-class voters in rural and even urban areas. Biden’s visit to Duluth underscores how important it is for Democrats to not only slow, but reverse those trends.

Esme Murphy

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