Ryan in Minnesota, rallies GOP faithful, 'Vikings for Romney'

GOP vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan rallied 6,500 people at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International AIrport on Sunday, trying to steal a Minnesota win for the Romney-Ryan ticket from Democrats, who have long said the state was safe for President Obama. Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton is expected back in Minnesota Sunday night for an appearance in St. Cloud.

GOP vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan campaigned in Minnesota on Sunday, further evidence that the Republicans think Minnesota might be in play after all. Ryan spoke an airport hangar at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to about 6,500 people, NBC reported.

“We could use your help, Minnesota. How about it? What do you say?” the Wisconsin congressman said. “Look at this: Vikings for Romney-Ryan. Even Vikings fans and Packers fans can lie down together for this country.” He joked that he often gets mistaken for being a Minnesotan, but that he sets people straight: "We’re the Catholic deer hunters; they are the Lutheran deer hunters.”

Ryan made his case for Mitt Romney as Democrats remained confident that President Obama will win Minnesota, although polls have showed the race tightening in the last few weeks. David Axelrod, a top Obama adviser, has said he would shave his mustache of 40 years if Obama loses the state.

Former President Bill Clinton is expected to speak again in Minnesota Sunday night, in St. Cloud.

The Clinton appearance is evidence that Democrats fear that Obama could lose Minnesota, Minnesota GOP Chairman Pat Shortridge said in a press statement. He said the GOP had pressed "droves" of volunteers into service to give Romney a surprise upset in the state.

He said, “The Obama campaign has downplayed the possibility that Minnesota is in play. Clinton's visit is a last ditch effort to save a state that they mistakenly took for granted."

It would be a big upset. Minnesota last voted for a Republican for president in 1972. A new Public Policy Polling survey shows Obama up 8 points in Minnesota. A new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll shows Obama up by 11 points in the state.

Ryan and Clinton both penned op-eds in the Des Moines Register. Ryan urged Iowans to consider that the race is bigger than the two men, Obama and Romney. Clinton said Romney was going to undo the progress Obama has made.

Romney may have closed the gap in the polls in Minnesota, but Obama heads into Tuesday's election having raised twice as much money in the state, Gannett News reports. The final pre-election campaign finance report shows Minnesotans gave $6.1 million to Obama and $3.1 million to Romney during the 2012 election cycle through Oct. 17, Gannett says.

One national group is dumping big money in the state in just the final few days before the election, CNN says. Crossroads GPS said Friday it will spend $1.4 million to air an ad statewide about President Barack Obama and the national debt. The group has ties to GOP operative Karl Rove, the former top aide to President George W. Bush.

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