Vice President Mike Pence’s rally in Duluth was really about consolidating Republican gains on the Iron Range. When Chip Cravaack defeated Jim Oberstar in 2010, a light started shining in Minnesota’s Eighth District. After Rick Nolan retook the seat, questions were raised about whether the Cravaack victory was a fluke. (I knew it wasn’t.)

Fast forward to 2020. Republican Pete Stauber represents the district. Additionally, he looks poised to win re-election. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Minnesota looks like it might give its 10 electoral votes to a Republican for the first time since 1972, when Richard Nixon obliterated George McGovern.

If President Trump wins Minnesota’s electoral votes, he’ll have 6 DFL mayors from the Iron Range to thank. They’re the ones that wrote this letter endorsing the Trump-Pence ticket. Here’s the heart of the letter:

Like many in our region, we have voted for Democrats over many decades. We have watched as our constituents’ jobs left not only the Iron Range, but our country. By putting tariffs on our products and supporting bad trade deals, politicians like Joe Biden did nothing to help the working class. We lost thousands of jobs, and generations of young people have left the Iron Range in order to provide for their families with good paying jobs elsewhere. Today, we don’t recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class. The hard-working Minnesotans that built their lives and supported their families here on the Range have been abandoned by radical Democrats. We didn’t choose to leave the Democratic Party, the party left us.

I’ve been writing that for 5 years. The DFL can’t pretend to represent miners, especially after defeating pro-mining DFL incumbent Erik Simonson in last month’s DFL primary. Democrats are on the defensive because they chose to become the metro party.

DFL Chairman Ken Martin issued a statement before the rally, calling the Trump administration “a complete disaster for Minnesota families — from its attacks on Social Security to trade wars that hurt our farmers to attempted rollbacks of the [Affordable Care Act] that would take away people’s health insurance.”

Martin hasn’t sounded like his old self lately. This statement is another example of this.

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