Skip to main content

Rep. Ellison pitches voters as Bernie Sanders campaign hones in on MN

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Presidential campaign ads are sweeping through Minnesota TV sets ahead of next week's caucuses – including a new one that features one of the state's U.S. representatives.

Keith Ellison is the main focus of a new ad from the Bernie Sanders campaign, which you can watch right here:

In it, he urges voters to "get out and caucus" for the Democratic presidential candidate, while going over one of the Sanders campaign's main themes, namely higher wages for workers.

The ad was posted on YouTube four days ago, and it has also started airing on Twin Cities television stations.

Ellison, the Democrat representative for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District (which includes Minneapolis and the areas just to the north, west and south), threw his support behind Sanders back in October.

He said the Vermont senator "has demonstrated a willingness to push for progressive ideas that will help American families and restore balance to our economy."

Ellison, as CNN noted recently, is the only member of the Congressional Black Caucus supporting Sanders. Last week, Ellison pushed back against claims from fellow Rep. John Lewis that he never saw Sanders at key Civil Rights incidents in the 1960s.

"He didn't see Bernie Sanders because Bernie Sanders was doing fair and open housing in Chicago – that's why he didn't see him," Ellison told CNN. "No matter how good your eyesight is – if you are standing in Alabama, you can't see people in Chicago."

Sanders has been portrayed as struggling to connect with black voters in the U.S. Vox just wrote about it, as did Fortune.

One recent poll from Gallup found nationally, 82 percent of black Democrats had a favorable view of Hillary Clinton, Sanders' opponent for the party nomination. That same poll found just 53 percent of black Democrats have a favorable view of Sanders.

Meanwhile the Star Tribune has an in-depth look at Sanders' and Clinton's focus to try to win over black Democrats in Minnesota.

New focus on Minnesota

Political Ad Sleuth – a joint venture of Free Press and the Sunlight Foundation – keeps a running tally of ad campaigns purchased by presidential candidates.

Broken down to Minnesota only, there have been dozens of ad buys from both Sanders and Clinton in the past week. Most are focused in the Twin Cities, though the Mankato, Duluth-Superior and Rochester markets are also represented.

Earlier this month, Politico detailed how Sanders has put a lot of muscle into wooing Minnesota voters ahead of the caucuses – a state "long accustomed to being a presidential primary season also-ran," the story says.

There are a couple of reasons:

One, the Sanders campaign sees the state's voter demographics (namely, progressive and predominantly white) as "perfect" for his message. They also believe winning Minnesota (and other northern states) can counter expected wins for Clinton in the south, Politico says.

Minnesota's caucuses will be on March 1, also known as Super Tuesday – that's when more than a dozen states will hold primaries or caucuses for one or both parties. The goal for candidates is to win the support of their party's voters, which help them earn delegates and can lead to becoming the official nominee.

Real Clear Politics has a running tally of how many delegates each candidate has won as a result of caucuses and primaries – Clinton is ahead 502-70, mainly due to super delegates (of which she has 451 to Sanders' 19 right now). A candidate needs 2,382 total delegates to get the nomination.

Clinton and Sanders will be vying for 77 delegates in Minnesota. You can find where to vote in the Minnesota caucuses by going here, to the Secretary of State website.

A Star Tribune poll released last month asked Democrats in the state who they would prefer to see win the nomination. Former Secretary of State Clinton was ahead of the Vermont Sen. Sanders, 59 percent to 25 percent (with a margin of error of 5.7 percent).

Next Up


Body of missing Mankato woman believed to have been found

A canoer found the body in a swamp near Eagle Lake Friday.

kim crockett facebook sos

MN GOP endorses attorney general, secretary of state candidates

Kim Crockett was endorsed as the party's candidate for secretary of state, while Jim Schultz won the endorsement for attorney general.


Volunteer firefighter identified as man killed during Thursday storms

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office confirmed that 63-year-old Ryan Erickson died when a grain bin fell on him.

Juan Ramos, standing outside of his Taco Chon Mexican Grill, in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Firm takes on case defending Taco Chon against Taco John's lawsuit

The local Mexican restaurant is fighting a case presented by Taco John's over naming rights, among other things.

Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 7.32.27 AM

Worker killed in skid loader accident was 23-year-old apprentice lineman

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative called the incident "the unthinkable."

Cascade River 1

Raging North Shore rivers overtake bridges, snap trees in half

Pedestrian bridges near the Lutsen Resort have been damaged by the vast river flow.

u.s. attorney's office

St. Paul man sentenced for 2021 robbery spree

Warren Dean, 27, admitted to robbing seven St. Paul businesses in a span of three days.


Stevens County may have been hit the hardest by Thursday storms

The entire county was without power after the storms blew through Thursday evening.

State Patrol

3 killed, 1 critical after trio of crashes in Minnesota Thursday

One person also faces life-threatening injuries in a crash that happened in Olmsted County.

Screen Shot 2022-05-13 at 1.25.08 PM

Mora woman saves pelican caught in fishing line for days

A birthday fishing trip shapes into a heroic tale.