(KMSP) - Minnesota has never been a huge prize in the Super Tuesday race. In fact, for most candidates it’s an afterthought. But if you’re in need of a win, and the demographics are in your favor, Minnesota may be the key to keeping your campaign alive.
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“Sometimes it’s not about how big you are but the fact that you can actually win it,” said David Schultz of Hamline University.
Schultz says Florida Senator Marco Rubio needs to win a state in order to keep his campaign alive, and Minnesota is the most likely win for him.
“This is an absolute must win for Rubio,” said Schultz. “For Donald Trump, he can afford to lose Minnesota. [Ted] Cruz can afford to lose Minnesota because he can campaign and he’ll probably win Texas. Rubio doesn’t have the South, so he needs this.”
In the last month, Rubio has become the only republican candidate to set up a campaign office in Minnesota, and he’s set to be the only republican to make an appearance here on Super Tuesday.
Schultz says Rubio’s focus on Minnesota is likely the result of a Star Tribune poll that showed Rubio with a lead over Cruz and Trump.
But Rubio isn’t the only candidate spending a lot of time in Minnesota ahead of March 1.
“This is a state that Bernie Sanders has to win. There’s a group of states in the South that are perfectly suited for Clinton--he’s not going to do well there-- but Minnesota’s part of a group of states-- Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont-- that Sanders can walk away with victory.”
Democratic strategist Darin Broton says if Sanders can’t pull off a Minnesota win, his campaign is likely over.
“If he can’t win here, it’s hard to see how he would have any upward
trajectory for the nomination.”
Broton says winning the traditionally ‘blue state’ on Super Tuesday gives the candidate a leg-up on the general election.
“Showing up here means you’ll be able to mobilize an army for the fall which is going to be extremely important.”