Democrats weigh in on GOP claim that Trump could win these 3 blue states

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Gov. Tim Walz, the Democratic politician of Minnesota, had a acceptable reply for the question he's been proceeding much lately: Is his authorities swinging toward former President Donald Trump this November?

"I don't spot it connected the ground. Donald Trump says a batch of things that aren't true," the multi-tasking politician told CBS News portion helium was preparing for a measure signing and tending to his barking dog. Walz is 1 of respective high-profile Minnesota Democrats trying to defuse increasing Republican claims.

During meetings with legislature Republicans connected Capitol Hill past week, Republicans uncorked an statement that they judge Trump is competitory successful Minnesota, New Jersey and Virginia successful this year's election. Though the assertion is not backed by wide sets of polling, and though it's a communal governmental strategy to boast astir a growing governmental battlefield to person opponents to walk much to support their interests, Democrats are responding aggressively and — successful immoderate cases — colorfully.  

"If Trump wants to walk his clip and wealth trying to run successful bluish states, beryllium our guest," a spokesperson for the Biden run said.

Some Democrats are daring Trump to put wealth successful the states, but others are urging caution that the 3 states shouldn't beryllium taken for granted. Walz is not successful the second category.

"He inactive claims helium won present successful 2016 and 2020 and that's not true," Walz said of Trump's ongoing baseless claims astir polls and elections. 

"When President Biden comes here, helium delivers a cardinal dollars for the most important bridge successful the precocious Midwest," Walz said. "When Donald Trump comes here, it's hate, grievances and ridiculous stories."

"I deliberation Trump and the Republicans are truly grasping astatine straws here," Sen. Tina Smith, a Minnesota Democrat, told CBS News.  

However, "this volition beryllium a adjacent election," Smith said. "Don't get maine wrong, but that's wherefore the Biden run is putting unneurotic specified a beardown effort here."

The Democratic National Committee has invested astir $500,000 successful Minnesota up of the election, for staff, technology, outreach efforts, email fundraising, information and operations infrastructure, and party-building initiatives. 

The optimism was doused by Rep. Dean Phillips, the Minnesota House subordinate who briefly challenged Mr. Biden for the Democratic nomination. 

"Turnout volition matter. I deliberation Trump is right," helium told CBS News. "And if helium spends clip successful Minnesota, it volition lone assistance him."

The electoral votes of Minnesota, New Jersey and Virginia are not expected to beryllium decisive, since a Trump triumph successful those states would lone lend to a apt electoral landslide.   

And Mr. Biden would inactive request a radical of aggregate plaything states to unafraid victory, adjacent if helium prevails successful Minnesota, New Jersey and Virginia.

But Trump's gathering with legislature Republicans launched speculation that the GOP is considering investing successful cities similar Minneapolis, Trenton and Richmond. Rep. Byron Donalds, a Florida Republican, who was reportedly nether information to beryllium Trump's moving mate, said, "I'm proceeding immoderate affirmative things retired of Minnesota. I deliberation it's overmuch much successful play than it's been successful the past mates of cycles. I really got a telephone from a mates friends of excavation successful New Jersey, and they're like, 'Hey, are you guys doing thing successful New Jersey? This is simply a existent happening here.' And so, I deliberation Americans … privation to get our state backmost connected track."

Some New Jersey Democrats scoff astatine the conception the Garden State could beryllium won by Trump. Rep. Andy Kim, a Democrat trying to instrumentality Sen. Bob Menendez's Senate spot successful November, told CBS News, "If President Trump wants to discarded wealth successful New Jersey, that's connected him. But I cognize the vigor successful my authorities — the radical privation thing antithetic and they're perfectly exhausted by what Trump represents."

"I don't deliberation Virginia is simply a Trump state, culturally," said Rep. Don Beyer, a Northern Virginia Democrat successful the House. But citing a caller Fox News canvass showing a competitory Virginia contention betwixt Trump and Mr. Biden, Beyer added, "I privation to marque definite that Virginians don't instrumentality the contention for granted. I deliberation each Democrat successful Virginia has to dainty it arsenic if we're connected a warfare footing." 

Rep. Gerry Connolly, a longtime House Democrat from Virginia, told CBS News, "Virginia has been a ceramic partition to Trump's MAGA politics. We cognize ideology is connected the line, and the prime betwixt President Biden and the twice-impeached, convicted felon couldn't beryllium clearer."

In 2020, Mr. Biden won New Jersey and Virginia by double-digit margins. Meanwhile, Minnesota Democrats boast the longest existent winning streak successful the federation for Democratic statesmanlike candidates, dating backmost to 1972 — and was the outlier authorities connected behalf of Walter Mondale successful 1984 — erstwhile Ronald Reagan was moving for reelection.

But governmental strategists said it's a communal ploy to question to grow the battlefield and triumphantly assertion a larger map.  

"When you're a enactment leader, Democrat oregon Republican, you person to accidental you're going to win," said Mike Erlandson, a erstwhile Democratic authorities enactment seat successful Minnesota. 

A tightening contention successful immoderate authorities has the imaginable to interaction intimately fought section races, including for Congress. Rep. Angie Craig, a Minnesot Democrat who has successfully navigated a battleground House seat, told CBS News, "We can't instrumentality thing for granted this year: the contention for the Second District is ever highly competitory and costly — particularly successful statesmanlike predetermination years, truthful we've got to marque definite we're acceptable to support ourselves from the attacks we cognize are coming."

Scott MacFarlane

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Scott MacFarlane is simply a legislature correspondent. He has covered Washington for 2 decades, earning 20 Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards. His reporting has resulted straight successful the transition of 5 caller laws.

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