Donald Trump and Joe Biden head to Minnesota Friday as early voting begins there and the governor asks both campaigns to obey COVID restrictions while in the state

  • Both Trump and Biden will be in Minnesota on Friday
  • Trump will hold airport rally Friday evening in Bemidji
  • Biden will visit a union training center in Duluth
  • Trump trying to win Minnesota after losing it by just one point in 2016
  • State hasn’t gone for a Republican president since 1972
  • Biden led in most recent poll by 16 points 
  • Friday marks start of mail-in voting in the state
  • Additionally the governor has asked both campaigns to follow COVID restrictions while they are in Minnesota  

Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be in Minnesota on Friday as the state begins its early voting in the presidential election.

Trump will be in the northern part of the state where he’ll hold a rally at Bemidji’s airport on Friday evening while Biden will be 150 miles away in Duluth where he’ll visit a union training center in the afternoon.

Friday also marks the first day of Minnesota’s early voting period during a year many voters are expected to use the mail-in voting option because of the coronavirus

President Donald Trump will be in the northern part of Minnesota where he'll hold a rally at Bemidji's airport on Friday evening

President Donald Trump will be in the northern part of Minnesota where he’ll hold a rally at Bemidji’s airport on Friday evening

Joe Biden will visit a union training center in Duluth on Friday afternoon

Joe Biden will visit a union training center in Duluth on Friday afternoon

Secretary of State Steve Simon announced Thursday that he will mail an absentee ballot application to every registered voter in order to encourage people to vote from home. 

‘The math problem is we’ve got about 3,000 polling places and we’re expecting roughly 3 million voters,’ he said. ‘This is very rough math and it wouldn’t really be like this this, but that’s 1,000 voters per polling place. If we can lighten the numbers of people at polling places, that’s a good thing for public health.’ 

Voters have until Election Day to mail in their ballots. All ballots post marked by Nov. 3 will be counted as long as they’re received by Nov. 10. 

That also means Minnesota’s result may not be known immediately after polls close on Election Day in yet another sign the results of the 2020 election could take a few weeks to be confirmed. 

Meanwhile, the governor has asked both campaigns to obey coronavirus restrictions while in the state, following safety guidelines on crowd sizes, masks and social distancing.

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz sent a letter to both camps, reminding them that state guidelines require events not exceed 25 per cent capacity or 250 people, whichever is less. Social distancing and face masks are required for indoor events while masks are strongly encouraged for outdoor events.

President Trump held events in Nevada over the weekend and in Arizona on Monday that violated those states’ restrictions on events due to COVID.

Minnesota DFL Party Ken Martin said Democrats will follow state recommendations.

‘I have no doubt that the Biden campaign is going to follow the advice of local elected officials as well as public health officials,’ Martin told MPR News and urged Trump’s campaign to do the same. ‘If you come to Minnesota you have to follow our rules, you have to follow the law, you have to follow the advice of public health officials so you are not contributing to the spread of this virus.’

Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh told the radio station there will be masks and hand sanitizer at the airport rally but noted the campaign wouldn’t limit attendance.

Bemidji is birthplace of the fictional Paul Bunyon and is in Beltrami County, which Trump flipped to his side in 2016. 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz asked both campaigns to follow COVID restrictions while in the state

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz asked both campaigns to follow COVID restrictions while in the state

Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump campaign is looking to turn Minnesota blue this year

Vice President Mike Pence said the Trump campaign is looking to turn Minnesota blue this year

Both campaigns have been focused on the northern area of the state, called the Iron Range, known for mining and manufacturing. 

The Trump campaign is seeking to flip Minnesota to its column after Hillary Clinton won it by less than one point in the 2016 election.

‘We’re actually looking at expanding the map now. I’ve been campaigning in Minnesota. So has the president,’ Vice President Mike Pence told The Hill newspaper earlier this week. ‘We think Minnesota is in play.’ 

But Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes could be a tough win for the Trump team. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Wednesday, Biden led in the state by 16 points. 

A Republican presidential candidate hasn’t won Minnesota since Richard Nixon took the state in 1972. 

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