Minneapolis, Minnesota (CNN) - Republicans in Democratic-leaning Minnesota made a show of force when Paul Ryan campaigned in the state two days before Election Day.
The Minneapolis rally with Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate drew an impressive and enthusiastic crowd – it was one of Ryan's largest solo events since he joined the ticket – gives Republicans anecdotal evidence that their map to 270 electoral votes could be expanding.
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The seven-term congressman from Wisconsin made a moderate pitch to voters from the neighboring state that hasn't voted for the GOP presidential nominee in decades.
"Look, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Wisconsinites and Minnesotans, we are bipartisan states, we know you have to work with people across the aisle because they're with us, they're part of us, they're in our own families. That's what it's like where we come from, it's also what it's like where Mitt Romney comes from," Ryan said.
The Romney-Ryan campaign said 6,500 people attended the rally held in a large hangar at St. Paul-Minneapolis International Airport early Sunday evening, the same day former Democratic President Clinton campaigned there on behalf of President Barack Obama.
In a memo circulated Saturday to top Republican leaders and surrogates in the media, the Romney campaign says they are "forcing Obama on defense" in states he won handily in 2008 – including Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Romney campaigned on Sunday and where Ryan was the day before.
In the face of poll numbers showing a challenging path to victory Tuesday, particularly in Ohio, CNN reported the Romney campaign is telling allies to talk up Republican chances in Democratic-leaning states while insisting that "GOP enthusiasm" will carry Romney to victory on Election Day.
Both sides recently made ad buys in Minnesota, which includes the Minneapolis media market that reaches parts of Wisconsin, a "toss-up" state on CNN's Electoral Map.
While Romney advisers point to recent partisan polling showing the race with the margin in the single digits, one Democratic source tracking media buys dismissed Romney's move, calling it a "press release" trying to generate buzz about a tightening race that he does not believe exists there.
Ryan played up his Midwestern roots and connection to the state, including a brief stint in college as an Oscar Mayer salesman.
"I spent a summer working in Eden Prairie, working for Oscar Mayer. My job was to sell Oscar Mayer products to Northern Minnesota," he said. "I pulled my share of Walleye out of Mille Lacs...This is God's country when you combine Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is great to be home."
– CNN's Peter Hamby and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.
"I pulled my share of Walleye out of Mohawks..."
Not a critical element to the story, but this should say "Mille Lacs" (as in Mille Lacs Lake) not "Mohawks"...
What a waste of time.. Minnesota is behind Obama. they will never win that state
Ryan & Mittens you have my vote : )
DonT let me down Minnesota! Lean on your Democratic leaning roots!!!
The enthusiasm of the crowd was off the charts. Big cheers, too, when Ryan stated that we need to get back to our founding principles. Opening the event was the president of Marvin Windows a mid-size business which has held on to their employees, despite the economy, and needs a Romney administration to move from surviving to flourishing. Don’t count out Minnesota to vote for a better economy and to vote for Romney/Ryan.
Minn 4 Mitt! (and Ryan!)
i think ryan has a story about every city he visits....."I have close ties here, feels, looks, smells, tastes like my home state"
all i have to say is women....u should really read why ryan stands for on womens issues before you vote for him cuz if the republicans get in.....don't complain in a year or two when you will have stepped back in time where women make less and no longer will have choices about their own bodies...i would especially read page 14 of their hand book
Bipartisan? Work across the isle? Like the last 4 years? Very funny! "My job is to make this a one term president" Is this their idea of cooperation?
Who lies more Romney or Ryan and their.motto is if u ain't rich u ain't sht Romney is anti christ vote for president Obama
This is a complete distraction from the key areas of Ohio and Florida. Last I heard in the major national poll of polls Obama leads by 5% and is winning Iowa. Thats 26 electoral college votes and Ohio plus 18 would make it almost impossible for Romney to win.
Nevada and Colorado could go Obama's way as well that's 15 more. The impact of latino and hispanic votes here is underplayed by CNN to keep them in the tossup area Romney loses one of them.
Enthusiasm, and momentum per selective statistics dont win elections voters decide.
Large crowds at Romney Ryan meets are normal ( republicans tend to vote on election day) not necessarily meaningful c/f Obama Biden since we I believe all agree the Dems are traditionally early voters... and a bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush the latter being the cause of Romneys failure to win.
Based on latest polls I cannot see Penn, Mich, going Republican 26 elec votes.... look back over 00/04/08
my prediction 277 or 286 Obama.
You guys need to learn how to count, or get better sources. I was there- we were 8,000 strong as of 2 pm, with more pouring in. We packed the hanger full with 9,000 souls, and 2,000 more were forced to wait outside. We exceeded the fire marshall's maximum occupancy in an aircraft hangar. Also, he said "I pulled my share of walleye out of MILLE LACS"- as in, the lake? Geez, guys.
Anyone that makes extra sharp cheddar as creamy & velvety as Wisconsinites, must have exceptionally good genes!!! Good cows as well!!! Best Limburger ever is out of a shop in Appleton.
I sure hope we can prevet that the croweds there and we would ever have to go through what Romney/Ryan and the GOP have in store for us ALL should they win!
Take a look at what is happening right now in Florida and what they are trying in Ohio.. Voter discuragement and supression at its finest! They sure try to make it happen – never mind how!
Please get out the VOTE! Strait "D" ticket! Never mind how "THEY" try to cheat and suppress the vote – PLEASE DO NOT BE DESCORAGED – VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
Thank goodness this election is almost over. It's time that we got our highest elected officials to stop all the bickering and get back to work. Americans have had enough. Vote on Tuesday and send them back to Washington; whoever wins.
This is God's country when you combine Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is great to be home."
Even in God's country Paul Ryan cannot tell the truth,and I am pretty sure he would lie right in front of God
Vote Paul Ryan for Liar of the year 2012
There were three Koch buses in Marietta. They bus in crowds of people to cheer and fill the room.
Very deceitful indeed.
"he said. "I pulled my share of Walleye out of Mohawks...This is God's country when you combine Minnesota and Wisconsin. It is great to be home."
Hey, Paul Ryan. I've pulled my share of Walleye out of Mille Lacs. My record? 29.5". My husband's record? 33.7". Neither of us have run the Granny's Marathon, though. I've heard you have ... in what was it ... sub 3:00? Oh, that's right. It wasn't under 3 hours after all .... was it?
And, BTW: you're still going to lose Minnesota. I expect Team Romney all ready knows this, huh?
Folks,If Romney/Ryan don't win, we're SOL.
The Romney campaign has muzzled Ryan for fears that his Conservative policies will turn away independents and women.
Todd Akin = Richard Murdoch = Paul Ryan