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Trump to make campaign stop Monday in southern Minnesota

The visit comes as Democrats kick off their national nominating convention in Milwaukee.

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President Donald Trump rallies with nearly 20,000 supporters Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Minneapolis. Thousands of protesters marched outside the Target Center ahead of the event. Dana Ferguson / Forum News Service

ST. PAUL — President Donald Trump on Monday, Aug. 17, is set to visit Mankato, Minn., as part of a swing through states that could make or break his re-election bid.

Trump’s campaign on Friday, Aug. 14, confirmed the president would make a brief stop at North Star Aviation, a flight school in Mankato, before a visit to Basler Flight Service in Oshkosh, Wis.

The tour comes as the Democratic National Committee is set to kick off its convention in Milwaukee and as former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to accept the party's nomination. Minnesota and Wisconsin are viewed as key swing states that could deliver the president another win or cement his defeat in November. The president will also make a tarmac visit Tuesday in Yuma, Ariz.

Trump in 2016 came within 1.5 percentage points of Hillary Clinton in Minnesota and he has said he hopes to snap the state's longest-in-the-nation record of supporting a Democrat in presidential contests. His campaign has also vowed to put millions of dollars into campaign ad buys around the state in hopes of turning it red.

In Wisconsin, Trump delivered an upset in 2016, winning that state by less than a percentage point. His campaign has also put significant resources into again carrying that state.

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Ahead of the formal announcement that Trump would make a stop in the Midwest, Minnesota Republicans celebrated the news that the president would become the fourth in history to visit Mankato. Presidents William Howard Taft, Harry Truman and George W. Bush have visited the city.

"We look forward to welcoming the President back to Minnesota for his fifth visit since he took the oath of office," Minnesota GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan said in a news release. "Southern Minnesota stood strongly with the President in 2016 and we know they will stand with him for another four years."

Democrats in the state, meanwhile, said Minnesotans have been harmed by the president's policies and response to COVID-19 and would support Biden come November.

"His visit to our state is nothing more than a desperate publicity stunt and a distraction," Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chair Ken Martin said. "If Trump wants to understand why voters in Minnesota will be voting for Vice President Biden, Senator Harris and DFLers at every level, he should watch our Convention. The voices of ordinary Americans he's hurt from communities across the country will be front and center.”

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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