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Politics run wild at the Minnesota State Fair

Updated: August 22, 2019 10:32 PM

A large crowd clogged the corner of Judson and Underwood at the State Fair on Thursday as Sen. Amy Klobuchar kicked off her first fair as a presidential candidate.

Klobuchar stopped by her campaign booth to take pictures with supporters and win-over potential voters.

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"The key is to put someone at the top of the ticket that's going to bring in not just democrats but moderate republicans and independents so we can win in 2020," said Klobuchar.

Campaign volunteers could be spotted around the fair.

Vote 2020

At the DFL booth, people can register to vote and weigh in on the crowded field of Democrats by casting a bean vote for their favorite candidate. 

On day one, Klobuchar was behind Senator Elizabeth Warren, who visited Minnesota just days ago.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked how she will use the fair as a platform to differentiate herself.

"I think people in Minnesota know that I'm from the Midwest, I'm from a purple state, I'm from a state that expects you to work with everyone and I think that's what America wants in a president," she said. "I'm also someone who has passed over 100 bills where I'm the lead Democrat, that's different from their brand of politics. I'm trying to get things done."

KSTP asked Klobuchar how important the fair is to her campaign and how it moves forward. She said it's an opportunity to reach a wider audience. 

"A few of them have said 'I voted for Donald Trump before', they say it quietly and then they're like 'I'm going to vote for you this time'," she said. That's always great to hear."

"I believe in what she believes in and I'm just looking forward to the time she will be president," said Josette Barsness, of Forest Lake. "She's a great leader."

More State Fair

Barsness said she hopes to hear the candidates talk about social security, Medicare and long term health insurance. 

A street away, the Republican Party of Minnesota was polling fair-goers, in real time, about the issues that matter most to them. By Thursday afternoon, the economy and immigration were the top two. 

President Trump's team was at the booth registering voters. He narrowly lost the state in 2016.

"President Trump wants to win this state," said Jennifer Carnahan. "Minnesota is one of the top targeted states in the country in the presidential election. Nationally, the groups believe the path to 270 involves Minnesota and with that comes a lot of investment in resources."

The support is welcomed by the President's supporters. They packed into the GOP booth to take pictures with a cardboard cutout of President Trump and buy apparel. 

"It's great that he's getting exposure like he is," said Dean Robish, from Becker. "I love the stuff that he does, he's got my vote again."

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Callan Gray

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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