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GOP hopes to turn Minnesota into red state



TONKA BAY, Minn. (AP) — Control of state government hangs in the balance in Minnesota, one of the few Midwest states where Democrats have had the upper hand in recent years.

Buoyed by such issues as crime, the GOP has hopes of capturing both chambers of the Legislature and knocking off Democratic Gov. Tim Walz. A red wave in Minnesota could mean rapid change in major policy areas such as abortion, taxes and the environment — and could raise Minnesota’s importance as a western edge of Blue Wall presidential battlegrounds Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Republicans need to hold the Senate and pick up four seats to take the Minnesota House. Millions of dollars have been pouring into roughly two dozen competitive seats.

Minnesota has not voted for a Republican for president in 50 years, since siding with Richard Nixon in 1972. It was the only state to support native son Walter Mondale in the 1984 race against Ronald Reagan.

The last Republican to win an election for governor in Minnesota was Tim Pawlenty in 2006.

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