MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District is the only one visited by both Presidential candidates in 2020.

The 8th has become a swing district — covering the Boundary Waters, Duluth and Twin Cities suburbs.

In this election, first-term incumbent Republican Pete Stauber is running against Democrat and affordable insulin advocate Quinn Nystrom.

Stauber gets high marks from voters we spoke to in the heavily Republican southern part of the district.

“He has been on the ball and this area tends to go Conservative in their votes,” voter Michael Warren said.

The challenger Quinn Nystrom, is expected to dominate in the Democratic stronghold of Duluth as she focuses on healthcare.

“We absolutely have to do a better job with the federal government to better handle this pandemic,” Nystrom said.

Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District has a long history of voting for Democrats. In the presidential race, it voted for Barack Obama twice the last time by about five percentage points. But then came 2016 and President Trump won the district by 15 percentage points.

And for many voters, the Congressional and other races are a referendum on President Trump. When the President said at a rally insulin was now a cheap as water, Democrat Nystrom fired back.

“It’s frankly not true,” she said. “We still have one in four people who are insulin dependant, who are rationing their medications. We absolutely have to have action not just false words.”

Another key issue is mining expansion. Nystrom has reservations. Stauber is enthusiastic.

“We are looking at the mining opportunities, not only the iron ore but the copper nickel and of course Enbridge Line 3 bringing manufacturing back to northern Minnesota,” Stauber said.

With Republicans hoping to cement their standing and Dmeocrats hoping to turn back the clock.

Esme Murphy

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