President Donald Trump may become the first Republican to win Minnesota since Richard Nixon took the state in 1972.
The typically left-leaning state almost chose Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Trump only lost the state by about 44,000 votes — and leftists are starting to sweat with 2020 right around the corner.
Trump’s support is growing so much in the state that even CNN has taken notice. The left-leaning network ran a piece this week diving into just how and why the state is “turning to Trump.”
“Many voters we talked to here say they align more and more with the president,” reported CNN’s Martin Savidge.
Robert Vlaisavljevich, the mayor of Eveleth, Minn., is one of the many examples of a Democrat throwing his support behind Trump. While the mayor says he votes Democrat in local elections, he counts himself among the president’s many supporters.
“He’s our guy, he supports mining. He’s our guy,” Vlaisavljevich said. The mayor is such a Trump supporter that he announces it loud and proudly. His office includes a Trump sticker, a Make America Great Again hat and even a Christmas card from the president.
Minnesota is a mining state, which helps the president as it contains one of the many communities across the country greatly affected by high tax rates and jobs being shipped overseas.
CNN reports that mining jobs in the state went from 14,000 in the ’80s to only roughly 4500 today.
Surprisingly, Ilhan Omar is one of Minnesota’s congressional representatives and she is one of the more progressive lawmakers in office today. CNN discovered many residents find her views on immigration and the economy to be lacking.
“She offends a lot of people here,” Vlaisavljevich said.
CNN spoke to many voters who are former Democrats who have only recently opened themselves up to supporting Republicans like Trump.
Resident Melissa Axelson, whose husband works for a mining company, says she has seen the Democrat Party change so much that she believes it is no longer the party for the working class.
“Conservative candidates seem to be more for the working person,” she said.
Resident Mike Volker agrees.
“The Democrats kind of shifted more to the left,” he said. “And Republicans are sort of taking over [as] the party for jobs.”
Cindy Rugeley, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, says she no longer believes her state is a “lockdown” for the Democrat Party.
“I don’t think this is by any means the lockdown Democratic state that it used to be,” she said.
“To continue to give you an idea of the kind of political tectonic shift that’s occurred in the 8th congressional district, which covers the Iron Range here, this was the same district that in 2008 helped to propel Barack Obama into the White House,” Savidge said.
He also noted that in 2018 the specific Minnesota district elected a Republican congressman for only the second time in its entire history. That Republican is Pete Stauber, a retired police lieutenant.
It’s one of the many reasons 2020 could as historic of a year for Trump as 2016 was.
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