(FOX 9) - Top Democrats pounded a message about voter turnout to Minnesota delegates at this week's national convention, trying to reverse 2016's slide in a state that President Donald Trump is targeting.
"God forbid, if we ever lost Minnesota, it makes the map almost impossible to succeed," said former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana at one of the Minnesota delegation's virtual meetings.
Hillary Clinton got nearly 180,000 fewer votes in 2016 than Barack Obama did four years earlier in Minnesota, meaning Obama's comfortable 9-point margin was trimmed to 1.5 points for Clinton. Trump got virtually the same number of votes as Mitt Romney did in 2012.
Trump has frequently said he could've won Minnesota with one more rally in fall 2016, and the state is now central to his re-election strategy. He's made five visits over the past 26 months, and Vice President Mike Pence is planning to make another visit here next week after the Republican National Convention.
"When the Trump campaign comes in with hundreds of organizers and spending millions of dollars on the airwaves to make this state competitive, we don’t take that for granted," said U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, who faces re-election this year against Republican Jason Lewis, a former congressman.
Democrats hammered the voter turnout message in prime time speeches at the DNC, too.
Clinton suggested that some Obama voters regretted not turning out for her.
"For four years, people have said to me, 'I didn’t realize how dangerous (Trump) was. I wish I could go back and do it over.' Or worst, 'I should have voted," Clinton said in her speech Wednesday. "Look, this can’t be another would've, could've, should've election."
Polling in Minnesota has been inconsistent. A Fox News poll in mid-July showed Biden up 13 points, but two recent polls have showed the race tightening.
"All of us, the activists on the call, we have to ignite the urgency in others who are sitting on the sidelines," U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a former 2020 presidential candidate, told Minnesota delegates. "This is a time we've got to get everybody on the field."