As the end of convention season brings with it the final stretch of a years-long presidential campaign, a hauntingly familiar feeling is in the air in Minnesota, slowly alarming Democrats as November approaches—the chill of 2016.
Four years ago, Minnesota was supposed to be a breezy, no-drama pickup for Hillary Clinton. Neither the Clinton nor Trump campaigns bothered investing any significant resources there, and certainly not much in-person time—Trump flew in for a last-minute rally days before Election Day; Clinton never set foot in the state as the Democratic nominee.
Clinton won Minnesota’s 10 electoral votes by a mere 1.5 percent, or some 44,000 votes out of 2,944,813 cast. As Democrats were giddily investing precious resources to “expand the map” and compete in historically conservative states like Arizona and Texas, they nearly lost the state with history’s longest streak of voting for a Democratic presidential candidate.