The Republican Senate candidate in Minnesota says President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says the president’s policy of withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is “unwise”. Parks and Rec cast for virtual town hall to appeal to Wisconsin voters Biden Says Trump MORE Resign Over Coronavirus ResponseSupport is underestimated in the polls and the GOP will surprise experts on election day over a backlash against Democrats over the economic shutdown and unrest.
Former representative Jason Lewis (R-Minn.), Sen.’s GOP challenger Tina SmithTina Flint SmithBiden Vows to Help Democratic Senators in Battlefield States Peterson faces the battle of his career in the deep red district of Minnesota Keep Teachers MORE in the classroom (D-Minn.), Has been campaigning in person in Minnesota for months, drawing on a message about how Democrats in the state are harming ordinary workers by keeping businesses and schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lewis says the destructive elements of the racial justice protests that began in Minneapolis following the police murder of George Floyd will increase the GOP turnout among voters in rural and suburban areas.
And he believes the state’s political realignment, recently underscored by half a dozen former Democratic mayors in rural parts of the state who announce their support for Trump, will deliver Minnesota to the Republican presidential candidate for the first time since 1972.
“President Trump is doing something Republicans haven’t been able to do since Reagan got the Teamsters’ approval and is bringing the working man and woman back to the Republican Party,” Lewis said in a phone interview. “This is a good thing. We cannot be the party of private equity and lower capital gains on interest carried over. We must be the party of the workers.”
The Trump campaign is going all-in to win Minnesota and Lewis is confident that the energy in the president’s re-election will help him defeat Smith, who first called to the Senate after the former senator stepped down. Al FranconiaAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPeterson faces the battle of his career in the deep red district of Minnesota. Getting Tight – The Psychology of Demolition Culture Tina Smith Wins Minnesota Senate Elementary School MORE (D-Minn.).
Trump stayed behind in Minnesota with just 44,000 votes in 2016, despite not spending on campaigns or the Airwaves there.
The Trump campaign raised $ 14 million to redden Minnesota this year, far exceeding Biden’s spending in the state.
Trump will hold an outdoor rally in Bemidji on Friday that Lewis will attend. Biden is also in Minnesota on Friday to tour a union training center and deliver a speech in Duluth, a sign that Democrats are serious about Trump’s challenge.
Lewis said the same dynamic that turned Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania red in 2016 for the first time in decades has Minnesota at the tipping point in 2020.
“The Democratic Party has left the working man and woman,” he said. “You can’t reconcile the Green New Deal, the trust fund’s environmental left, the academic left, with traditional Minnesota Democratic constituencies. It’s the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the farmers and workers have been left out in the cold. “
The polls show a difficult climb for Trump in Minnesota.
Biden has built a 10.2 point lead over Trump on the RealClearPolitics average, backed by a series of five polls this month in which he was between 8 and 16 points ahead.
Previously, the polls had tightened significantly, with several showing Trump within Biden’s margin of error in the state.
Lewis’ own internal survey, conducted in late August, found him to be within 2 points of Smith. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Citizens United PAC, and Susan B. Anthony List all spend on Lewis. It is possible that the National Republican Senatorial Committee could jump into the race if Lewis keeps it close.
Lewis insists that the polls underestimate support for Trump and Republicans, arguing that so-called shy Trump voters are afraid to express their support for him because they are “breaking” and feared the culture of Democrats and the news media to be pursued.
He said that outside of the metropolitan areas of Twin Cities, Trump has “noticeable” energy on the ground, as boat parades and “MAGA meetups” are taking place in rural parts of the state despite the pandemic.
“I think the silent majority is much bigger, obviously because of the abandonment culture and fear out there, frankly, among many conservatives,” said Lewis.
“If you’re the Trump type who lives near St. Paul, you’ll be damned if you put up a sign for it … people don’t want to deal with the anger until they pull that curtain [to vote],” he added.
Lewis, a former radio personality, served one term in the House of Representatives before losing his bid for re-election to Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) In 2018, a big year for Democrats.
Representing Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District on the east side of St. Paul, Lewis was one of the victims of the GOP’s suburban weakness in the Trump era.
The Minnesota Republican has campaigned and filed a federal lawsuit against the Democratic government throughout the pandemic. Tim WalzThe Tim Walz Presidential Race intensifies in Minnesota as Trump plows resources into the Minneapolis-activated State National Guard after Omar reports the suicide bomberon the grounds that government restrictions on travel and gatherings affect his “fundamental freedoms”.
“We said to hell with the lock we were going to campaign and then we sued the governor,” said Lewis.
“There is no pandemic exemption from the Bill of Rights,” he added.
Lewis said he believes the state’s restrictions, which have forced many companies to shut down or downsize, are a huge blind spot for Democrats and the news media, even if polls show Trump is largely unhappy with the pandemic .
He says he hears stories everywhere of economic troubles from unemployed people, families struggling to bring their children to school at home, or the elderly who have died alone, even as racial justice activists for marching on the streets were celebrated.
“People resent the fact that they were locked up now [Democrats] are stuck because they can’t break their own COVID rules but have to stay locked up, “said Lewis. “So we do campaigns. The president is fighting. Now [Democrats] finally come out, but I think it’s too little too late. “
Lewis also believes the Democrats dubbed their hand in the racial justice protests, saying they allowed them to get out of hand and would suffer in the election.
Minneapolis has been badly hit by devastating protests, including a police station that was set on fire.
Trump has relied on the message of the restoration of order, although polls show Biden has more confidence on the matter.
The Trump campaign recently turned back from its message of law and order to business, but Lewis believes this is an issue that still resonates privately with many Minnesota voters.
“Minnesota used to be known for exporting Paul Bunyan, but after the governor and both [Twin Cities] Mayors decided to step down when the rioters were in Ward 3 … we are now known for exporting chaos, “said Lewis.
“I don’t care where your political leanings are … people want to be sure,” he added. “You see the government’s first job as protecting life, liberty and property, and if it isn’t, little else matters and that has had a huge impact, especially on the suburbs.”