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In Minnesota, Biden competes for delegates in long-shot challenger Dean Phillips’ home state

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Turnout was light on Super Tuesday in Minnesota, where President Joe Biden was competing for delegates in challenger Dean Phillips’ home state and former President Donald Trump faced Nikki Haley for the state’s Republican convention votes.

Minnesota has 75 Democratic and 39 Republican national convention delegates. But as one of the smaller of 16 states and one territory holding Super Tuesday primaries, Minnesota received little attention — even from Phillips, who represents a congressional district in the Minneapolis suburbs. Haley was the only candidate to put in an in-person campaign appearance. Her rally at a Bloomington hotel last week drew several hundred people.

Trump didn’t visit Minnesota for the primary, but he raised eyebrows during a phone interview with KNSI radio in St. Cloud on Monday when he claimed that he thought he won the state in the 2022 general election, echoing his false claims that he was the rightful winner nationwide.

Trump actually lost Minnesota by more than 7 percentage points to Biden, but he came within 1.5 points of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2018, and told KNSI he intends to take a “big shot” at winning the state this November. No Republican presidential candidate has carried Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972.

The Biden campaign last week sent Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris. He appeared at a fundraiser, visited Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to highlight the administration’s investments in transportation infrastructure, and paid his respects to three slain first responders in Burnsville.

At a public library in suburban Eden Prairie, Molly Menton, 40, said she didn’t consider voting for Phillips even though he’s her congressman, saying he’s less qualified than Biden. Menton, a health care executive who leans “pretty progressive,” said her top priorities are nominating liberal judges, gun control and climate change.

Eden Prairie retirees Chuck and Carol Thomas, 76 and 66, who formerly worked as creative directors in advertising, also said they never considered voting for Phillips. Biden has wisdom, experience and a track record of beating Trump, Chuck Thomas said.

But Pam Hulstrand, 65, voted on the Republican side — for Haley.

“It’s time for a woman,” Hulstrand said. She said Haley is a new leader with experience and confidence. “The fact that she’s not giving up says a lot about her resiliency,” she said. Hulstrand, a minister, also said she likes Haley’s conservative stance on “moral issues.” But she also said she’s prepared to vote for Trump in November, if it comes to that.

At Crosspoint Church in the next-door suburb of Bloomington, Craig Brandt said he voted for Trump, “because I think he’s the best hope we have for getting our country back on track.”

Sarah Alfaham, of Bloomington, said she voted “uncommitted” in the Democratic primary, as many anti-war and Muslim activists locally and nationally have urged. She said and doesn’t know for whom she’ll vote in November, except that it won’t be Trump. But she said she’s so disappointed with Biden that she might consider a third-party candidate.

“I believe that the war in Gaza, and the genocide that Israel is committing, is unacceptable,” Alfaham said. “And Joe Biden has not done enough to earn my vote and not done enough to stop the war, stop the massacre.”


Ahmed reported from Eden Prairie. Vancleave reported from Bloomington.

Steve Karnowski, Trisha Ahmed And Mark Vancleave, The Associated Press

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