Washington County, Minn.
Minnesota represents one of a small number of states that voted for Clinton in 2016 that presents Trump with a chance to expand his map in 2020. If he wants to win here, he must carry Washington County, along the border with Wisconsin.
The first white settlers arrived along the banks of the St. Croix River to log its rich forests. In 1838, early residents in Stillwater, the county seat, formally petitioned Congress to create a new state called Minnesota. Today, its residents are more likely to commute to the booming Twin Cities. A fifth of its residents have moved in since 2000, blending its rural roots with exurban sprawl.
Washington County voted twice for George W. Bush, then twice for Obama. Clinton carried Washington County by just 1.8 percentage points, almost exactly the margin by which she carried Minnesota as a whole.
“President Trump has already transformed rural politics in his favor, so increasing support from suburban voters will be key to the outcome of the election,” said former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who carried Washington County in both his runs for governor.
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