Donald Trump falsely tells supporters he won Minnesota in 2020

By Gram Slattery

(Reuters) – Donald Trump falsely claimed on Friday that he won the 2020 presidential election in Minnesota and he said he would win this year in the state that has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate in over 50 years.

During an address to the Minnesota Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner in St. Paul, Trump repeated the unfounded claim that the last presidential election, which he lost to Joe Biden, a Democrat, was tainted by widespread fraud.

“I know we won (Minnesota) in 2020,” Trump said to applause. “We’ve got to be careful. We’ve got to watch those votes.”

Ahead of their Nov. 5 presidential rematch, Trump campaign officials have publicly and privately insisted that Trump can beat Biden in Minnesota. While an upset in the state appears possible, available polling and the state’s political history indicate that the former president faces an uphill battle.

Major independent polls show Biden with a slim but consistent lead in Minnesota – typically between 2 and 4 percentage points. A Trump campaign official would not say directly whether they planned to dedicate resources to the state.

While Minnesota’s rural areas have swung towards Republicans over the last decade, suburban areas around Minneapolis have moved toward Democrats, reflecting broader nationwide trends.

During the speech, Trump repeated his calls for a “massive deportation” of immigrants in the country illegally, and he doubled down on promises to construct a new missile defense system, likening it to Israel’s “Iron Dome” program.

He also again hinted that North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a former primary rival who introduced Trump on Friday evening, was a top contender to be his vice-presidential running mate.

“A lot of people think it’s that guy right there,” Trump said of Burgum. “He’s very good.”

As with other recent speeches, Trump took personal and even profane jabs at Biden throughout the evening, at one point saying the president was “full of shit.”

During presidential campaigns, it is common for major candidates to insist they can capture states that appear to be a reach. Biden officials say they have a shot at taking Florida, though he is trailing by around 10 points there in most polls.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery in Dallas; Editing by William Mallard)

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