Democratic presidential hopefuls descend on Minnesota

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A who's who of Democratic presidential candidates will be in Minnesota Friday for the Democratic National Committee's annual summer meeting – bringing big names and plenty of political chatter to the state.

All five of the biggest Democratic names that have announced their candidacy will be speaking from the Minneapolis Hilton: former Gov. Lincoln Chafee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the morning, then Gov. Martin O'Malley, Sen. Bernie Sanders (who technically identifies as an independent), and Sen. Jim Webb in the afternoon.

Click here to see the day's schedule.

The purpose, the Pioneer Press explains, is for candidates to start wooing support; some of the Democratic party members at the meeting will have voting spots at next year's Democratic National Convention, the paper says.

But things don't stop with the meeting.

Clinton was actually in Minneapolis Thursday, speaking with a group of 100 pledged delegates, CBS News reports. She'll also attended a fundraiser in Wayzata after her speech Friday.

And O'Malley is scheduled to be at the Minnesota State Fair's DFL booth at 4:30 p.m.

A Republican presidential candidate hasn't won Minnesota since Richard Nixon in 1972, according to 270 to Win.

Who's doing well in Minnesota?

The Star Tribune looked at which Democratic candidates are seeing support in Minnesota right now.

Clinton's campaign raked in nearly $560,000 from Minnesota donors during the second quarter, the paper reports – Minnesotans have given just $220,000 to all other presidential candidates combined.

But the Star Tribune notes, despite the cash advantage, many state party affiliates see Sanders – viewed as a more liberal, more progressive candidate – as a real threat.

The Vermont senator spoke to thousands of supporters in Minneapolis in May, and was back in the state in July speaking at a Rochester brunch with 600 people.

Friday, Sanders is expected to argue that "establishment politics won't do," while calling on Democrats to go after large institutions, such as Wall Street, big banks and corporations, CNN reports.

Where's Biden?

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Nationally, the storyline is about someone who isn't in town: Joe Biden.

The vice president is said to be seriously considering jumping into the fray, providing an immediate challenge to Clinton, CNN reports. But the station says his supporters will be a presence – behind the scenes, members of his potential team are asking supporters to "keep an open mind" about who to support, according to CNN.

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