Trump, Pence plan Minnesota ‘fly-in’ rallies

514v0j11rzl-_sy445_Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump will speak today at 2 p.m. at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Monday, his running mate Mike Pence will speak at 9:30 a.m. at the Duluth International Airport.

This Minnesota blitz represents a remarkable amount of attention for the Republican ticket to pay to a state that reliably votes Democratic in presidential contests. The last Republican to win Minnesota’s electoral votes was Richard Nixon in 1972.

Nevertheless, the move makes some sense. For one thing, Trump has a limited path to victory. Indeed, Hillary’s Clinton’s hopes of a landslide may have evaporated with last week’s FBI controversy. Yet, she’s still sitting on a more plausible victory scenario than Trump.

Trump could run the table in states like Ohio, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina and still trail in America’s unique, baffling electoral college. So he needs another state — a tipping point state.

Trump’s message aims almost entirely at white men. This demographic stands as the most accepting of Trump’s nostalgic pining for an idealized version of the 1950s. Thus, the logical blue state targets include the industrial states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin or, that’s right, Minnesota. One of those goes red and suddenly Trump has a chance.

Minnesota hasn’t been polled much. All surveys indicated Clinton leading, but some showed a race within a few points. The Trump campaign’s decision to do quick fly-in rallies at Minnesota airports is a low-risk gamble. Trump hopes that something is happening here that the polls haven’t caught.

Plus, both markets catch part of Wisconsin. A hedge.

For Trump, if this works it was a good use of a few hours of campaign time. If it doesn’t, he was always going to lose anyway.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a race this volatile up and down the ballot in a presidential year. “Conventional wisdom” will likely suffer, though it’s as likely that things break Clinton’s way as they do Trump’s.

Doors open at 11 a.m. for the Trump event in Minneapolis. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. for the Pence event in Duluth. Ticket information is at Trump’s website, which I trust you can find if you really want to.

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