President Obama gives MN Democratic candidate a boost with new ad

President Obama gave a Minnesota congressional candidate a timely boost.

The battle for Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District is heating up, with the president weighing in on the race on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama appeared in a video uploaded by the Terri Bonoff for Congress team, pledging his support for the Democratic candidate. She's looking to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen in next month's election.

"Terri Bonoff is running for Congress and we need more people like her in Washington," Obama says, going on to describe her record as a Minnesota state senator, before adding: "Terri Bonoff is someone special and I hope you will send her to Congress."

One reason the president agreed to the video could be because, as he explains during the 30-second clip, Bonoff's son Joe Paulsen (no relation to Rep. Paulsen) is one of the president's "closest aides."

The Star Tribune in an article earlier this month described the Minnetonka native as Obama's "body man" and "golf partner," saying he is "constantly at the president's side quietly doing whatever is needed: write a few remarks, lighten the mood with a baseball update, or even play a round of golf on the weekend."

Paulsen has a different view on his political opponent.

Paulsen leads over Bonoff

But Obama's involvement could also be because Democrats believe they have a chance to turn the 3rd Congressional District blue.

In 2014, Paulsen was comfortably re-elected to the House with 62 percent of the vote against opponent Sharon Sund, according to BallotPedia, but indications are that this year's race is somewhat closer.

Paulsen is still ahead though, judging by a poll this week of 537 likely voters conducted by KSTP. The poll found the Republican holds a 49-38 lead over his opponent, with 13 percent undecided.

Bonoff has been attempting to tie Paulsen to Donald Trump in her campaign ads, but KSTP's survey found that this strategy wasn't working, with likely voters able to differentiate between the two. Paulsen has also taken steps to distance himself from the Republican presidential candidate.

MinnPost reports the 3rd District is considered a "lean Republican" seat with a score of R+2, which it says gives the Republicans a slight advantage in the Nov.8 elections.

To find news, commentary, and local events leading up to the 2016 election, head to GoVoteMN.

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