Despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to flip Minnesota this year, with a calendar full of appearances by the candidate himself and his surrogates, the state’s streak of voting for Democrats in presidential elections for more than four decades — the longest-running of any state — remains unbroken.
The Associated Press called Minnesota for former Vice President Joe Biden shortly after 11 p.m. Central Standard Time on election night. As of publication time, Biden was leading by 7 percentage points. More ballots are expected to be added to the candidates’ tallies in the coming days, but face potential invalidation due to a court decision last week.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin took the stage at a party election night event to congratulate party supporters shortly after the race was called.
“Congratulations to all the folks who worked so hard for Joe Biden,” he said.
The result in Minnesota doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who was watching the polls — or projections — closely. On Election Day, Biden held a 9 point polling average advantage over Trump.
But recent history suggested Biden’s victory wasn’t guaranteed. In 2016, Trump lost to Hillary Clinton by only 1.5 percentage points, despite assumptions that the state would be an easy win for the Democrat. And when Trump closed in on Biden in the polls over the summer, a deluge of national news stories declared Minnesota was in play.
But as Trump trailed in the polls, he backed off on advertising in the state even as his campaign kept up a rigorous schedule of visits.
Ultimately, his efforts weren’t enough to flip the state. Early returns show Biden leading in precincts further into the Twin Cities suburbs than Clinton did in 2016, along with holding regional centers like Rochester, Duluth, Mankato and others.
Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan told MinnPost early Wednesday that Republicans worked hard to flip Minnesota and despite the loss, that Minnesota was seen as a battleground state was a positive for the Trump campaign.
“We forced Biden’s campaign to spend an enormous amount of resources here and took away resources from other battleground states, which allowed our president to be successful in those states,” she said.
Furthermore, she said she didn’t think Biden’s win had clear down-ballot effects, citing a win for Republican Michelle Fischbach in Congressional District 7, a close race between DFL Congressional District 2 incumbent Angie Craig and Republican challenger Tyler Kistner, and a lead for Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn in a rematch for the Congressional District 1 seat with DFLer Dan Feehan.