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Suburbs and Greater Minnesota propelled Biden to victory in Minnesota

Sanders’ margins in Minneapolis and St. Paul weren’t enough to overcome his weakness elsewhere in the state.

photo of voter
MinnPost photo by Greta Kaul
Former Minnesota Viking John Swain voted for Joe Biden at Burnsville City Hall on Super Tuesday.

There’s a lot of talk in Minnesota these days about an urban-rural divide.

What does it mean for the 2020 presidential election and down-ballot races that Republicans are consolidating votes and legislative seats in Greater Minnesota, while Democrats, at least in 2018, did really well in the Twin Cities and its suburbs?

We won’t know until November, but Super Tuesday results in Minnesota did show big differences in vote totals for Democratic primary candidates based on region.

Statewide, with 99.7 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, three candidates did well enough to win Minnesota delegates. They were:

  • Joe Biden with 38.6 percent of votes and 38 delegates
  • Bernie Sanders with 29.9 percent of votes and 27 delegates
  • Elizabeth Warren with 15.4 percent of votes and 10 delegates

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But where did those votes come from? A geographic breakdown shows Biden dominated the Twin Cities suburbs and Greater Minnesota, while Sanders won the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul by healthy margins (he also got the most votes in the city of Duluth). Despite Sanders’ vote hauls in the state’s two largest cities, Sanders couldn’t collect enough votes there to propel a victory statewide.

Warren had her best showing in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where she ran nearly neck and neck with Biden. It was enough to win delegates, but she ended the night with significantly fewer votes than Biden and Sanders statewide.

Votes by Minnesota region
For the purposes of this chart, the Twin Cities suburbs is the seven-county Twin Cities metro outside Minneapolis an St. Paul and Greater Minnesota is the 80 counties outside the metro.
Source: Minnesota Secretary of State