MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will campaign in Minnesota two days before the election. The rally will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. WATCH LIVE VIDEO
The official word is that the Trump campaign sees an opportunity here, with the state's party chair saying the visit confirms a national trend that Trump has significant momentum.
Donald Trump himself announced the planned trip to Minnesota during a campaign rally in the battleground state of Florida.
“We’re going to Minnesota. We going up to Minnesota, which traditionally has not been Republican at all. We're doing phenomenally,” Trump said.
Hamline University Political Science Professor David Schultz says it's unusual for candidates to visit Minnesota this late in the cycle, especially because the state hasn't voted for a Republican candidate for president since Richard Nixon in 1972.
“In general, you would think he'd be better off spending his time in a Pennsylvania, an Ohio, a North Carolina or Florida, instead of coming up here,” Schultz said.
But the location of Trump's visit and his running mate Mike Pence's visit to Duluth on Monday is also strategic because voters in the key state of Wisconsin will also see coverage of the Minnesota stops.
“I think this is more of a media event, to try and get some kind of play on television at the last minute,” Schultz said.
Trump may have gotten a hint of support in Minnesota during his stop in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, last Tuesday.
The most recent polls in Minnesota show Hillary Clinton has a consistent lead. Schultz believes Trump's chances here are still a long shot but said "there is sort of the perfect storm scenario where he gets enormous turnouts in Greater Minnesota. At the same time, Clinton people [could be] overconfident, don't do a good get out the vote campaign, they don't deliver as well as they could."
Schultz says Trump's true impact could come in other races like the ones for U.S. House.
“I think what he's really hoping, what the Republicans might be counting on, is him getting the Republican base really excited,” Schultz said.