Trump, who trails Biden in national polls, is playing offense in
Minnesota in a bid to capture the state he narrowly lost to
Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 while winning neighboring
But recent opinion polls in Minnesota have given Biden a solid
lead; the poll-tracking website RealClearPolitics showed Biden
up by an average of 10.2 points as of Thursday.
Biden's polling advantage underscores the extent to which the
current electoral map favors the former vice president. He leads
in all three former industrial "Rust Belt" states that Trump
flipped from the Democratic column on his way to victory in
2016: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign rally at an airport in
Bemidji, Minnesota, in the evening. Earlier in the day, Biden
will tour a union training center in Duluth before delivering a
The state was the flashpoint for a national reckoning on race
relations, when George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, died after a
white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for minutes
even after he appeared to lose consciousness.
The killing prompted widespread civil unrest that has lasted for
months and further rattled a nation already besieged by the
coronavirus pandemic and the attendant economic downturn.
Trump has responded to the demonstrations by vowing to maintain
"law and order" while portraying many of the protesters as
far-left radicals who would be further empowered by a Biden
victory in the Nov. 3 election.
Biden has denounced the violence at some protests while
expressing support for the protesters' objections to racism and
police brutality. He has blamed Trump's divisive rhetoric for
inflaming the situation.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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