Biden, Romney Visits Don't Make Minn. a Battleground State ... Yet
Vice President Joe Biden will campaign in Minneapolis and Rochester on Tuesday. Two days later GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be in the Lake Minnetonka area for a fundraiser.
They're the first two appearances by either presidential ticket since June. That's a far cry from 2004 when President Bush and challenger John Kerry visited the state a total of 17 times. Or even 2008 when Barack Obama declared victory in the primary race at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and John McCain held a nationally-televised "town hall" meeting at the Landmark Center. But don't count on a repeat in 2012.
"The days when Minnesota was in the thick of the presidential hunt in 2004 and even in 2008 look like they are over for the time being," says Larry Jacobs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute. He notes Romney hasn't even opened a campaign office here while Obama has opened 10.
Minnesota GOP chairman Pat Shortridge disagrees with Jacobs. "The data I've seen shows Minnesota is very much in play," he says. "The Obama-Biden agenda isn't working. I think Minnesotans are desperately looking for something else."