Trump is speaking in the battleground state he vowed to avoid after losing twice

It's been more than 50 years since a Republican won Minnesota in the presidential election, but former President Trump says he has “a very good chance” of breaking November's losing streak in his 2024 rematch with President Biden.

The former president will be in a reliably blue state Friday night to headline the Minnesota Reagan's annual Lincoln Reagan fundraising dinner.

Trump lost Minnesota by just 1½ points in his 2016 presidential election victory over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Four years ago, he lost the state to President Biden by more than seven points in his failed re-election campaign.

Ahead of the 2020 election, Trump promised a victory in Minnesota, saying that if he lost, “I'm never coming back.”

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Former President Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Wildwood, NJ, May 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Four years later, Trump is back and predicts another victory.

“We think we have a very good shot at Minnesota,” Trump emphasized Wednesday in an interview with KSTP, a local TV station in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. “We have great friendships there.”

Trump added that he has “worked hard on Minnesota” and that “Tom Emmer is very committed,” pointing to the majority in the House of Representatives.

Emmer, who will join Trump at the state GOP gala, is chairman of the Trump campaign in Minnesota, even though the former president and his allies helped thwart Emmer's bid to become speaker of the House of Representatives last fall .

As the Trump and Biden campaigns prepare to battle in seven crucial swing states that decided the 2020 election (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which were narrowly won by Biden, and North Carolina, which Trump won with a razor wore) thin margin) and likely again in the 2024 rematch, both campaigns see opportunities to expand the map.

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Two weekends ago, at a Republican National Committee retreat for top dollar donors at a resort in Palm Beach, Florida, senior Trump campaign advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita and veteran pollster Tony Fabrizio highlighted internal surveys that suggested both “Minnesota and Virginia.” . are clearly in play.”

“In both states, Trump is in a position to swing key electoral votes in his favor,” points out the survey, which was shared with Fox News.

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Former President Trump led a spring retreat for Republican National Committee donors in Palm Beach, Florida, May 4, 2024 (Donald Trump 2024 Campaign)

And both states have significant populations of rural white voters without a college degree, who disproportionately support the former president.

Biden's campaign doesn't agree that Minnesota or Virginia are up for grabs.

While noting that they are “not taking any state or vote for granted,” Biden campaign battleground director Dan Kanninen told reporters last week “we are not seeing polls that are six or seven months away from a general election.” certainly main figures, because something more predictive than a weather report will only be available in six or seven months.”

Kanninen emphasized that the campaign has teams on the ground in both states engaging voters.

“We strongly believe that the Biden-Harris coalition in both Minnesota and Virginia, which was strong in the midterms and off-year elections, will remain strong for us in the fall of 2024,” he added to.

And Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt, pointing to the president's current fundraising dominance and advantage in key battlegrounds, argued: “Trump's team has so little campaign or infrastructure to speak of that they are resorting to leaking memos saying 'the polls we paid to show us we win. ''

But Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who launched a lengthy and unsuccessful primary challenge against the president, insists that “Minnesota is in the game.”

Phillips argued in an interview this week on Fox News' “Special Edition” that Minnesota “like a lot of states where I think a lot of my fellow Democrats don't want to admit that this is the reality.” … I tell my Democratic colleagues who support President Biden, including myself, that there is still much work to be done.”

While Trump's campaign is looking for opportunities to expand the map in Minnesota and Virginia, Biden's campaign appears to be focusing on the swing state of North Carolina and Florida.

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Trump won the Sunshine State by less than four points in 2020, but two years ago, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio each won reelection by nearly 20 points.

LaCivita argued that the Biden campaign was playing “a fake game” in both states, but emphasized that Trump has a “real opportunity to expand the map of Virginia and Minnesota.”

Trump's stop in Minnesota comes a week after he held a large rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, a red bastion in an overwhelmingly blue state where no Republican has won the state in a presidential election in more than three decades. Trump lost the state four years ago to Biden by 16 points.

“We are going to win New Jersey,” Trump promised at the rally.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more on our Fox News Digital election hub.

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