“#Minnesota poll finds Trump and Biden in battleground dead heat”
August 20, 2020 | 6:59pm
President Donald Trump and Joe Biden
EPA/Peter Foley; Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
Results indicate that 46.9 percent of voters favor the Democratic nominee and 46.5 percent would vote for Trump — a statistical dead heat.
Trump considers the state a key pickup opportunity and hosted a rally there Monday. He lost the state in 2016 by just 1.5 percent to Hillary Clinton.
The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group, surveyed 1,141 likely voters. It sampled near-equal numbers of people in each of Minnesota’s eight congressional districts, accounted for gender and roughly approximated the state’s racial breakdown.
According to RealClearPolitics, Trafalgar is a Republican-linked polling firm, and some analysts scoffed at the finding.
“I don’t buy it, in part because I don’t want to,” wrote MinnPost columnist Eric Black, who pointed to other recent polls showing Biden ahead.
“Trafalgar Group. Hard to believe,” tweeted Inside Elections publisher Stuart Rothenberg.
Trump did not directly comment on the poll results during a Thursday trip to Pennsylvania, but said he believed some polls show him losing to Biden in swing states because they sample registered voters and not likely voters like Trafalgar did.
The Minnesota poll was conducted Aug. 15-18, meaning some respondents were polled after Trump’s Aug. 17 visit to the state.
Trump urged his crowd in a town southwest of Minneapolis to flip the state for him, touting his efforts to reform trade pacts and to restore order to cities including Minneapolis after unrest stemming from the police killing of George Floyd in May.
Trump joked he would not return to campaign for third, fourth, fifth or sixth terms if the state failed to go for him, and he slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) as a “horrible woman who hates our country.”
He said just one more rally in 2016 would have won him Minnesota.
A poll conducted in late July by the Trafalgar Group found Trump lagging five points behind Biden in the state. The latest poll found Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen taking 3.7 percent.
Trump often speaks ambitiously of flipping states in November — last week telling The Post he would invest time and money into winning in New York, where he lost by 22 points in 2016. Minnesota is on a smaller list of less-ambitious potential pickups, including Colorado, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire and New Mexico.
He also must defend narrowly won prizes of 2016, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
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