Candidates rally voters on weekend before electionby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
Blaine, Minn. — On the last weekend before Election Day, Minnesota leading candidates for governor are making their final efforts to get out their message and to get their supporters to the polls.
About 2,000 people attended a rally in the Blaine Airport on Saturday afternoon to see Republican Tom Emmer.
He was joined by a bevy of GOP officials including Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
Emmer is hoping that he'll soon join Pawlenty, Barbour and Christie as a Republican governor. Christie has been hailed in conservative circles for ending state funding for a tunnel from New Jersey to New York City because of cost overruns.
He also cut spending dramatically during his first year in office.
"So I came to Minnesota today to give you another living, breathing example of what November 3rd is going to look like when you elect Tom Emmer," he told the audience.
Emmer has been traveling the state in his campaign bus. After this afternoon's debate, Emmer is scheduled to campaign in 19 cities in 25 hours. He told the audience that they shouldn't believe any of the polls that show him trailing Democrat Mark Dayton.
"Thursday morning, Jacquie and I found ourselves 12 points behind ... we busted our tail all day Thursday," he said. "We were traveling this state, crisscrossing back and forth and by the time we went to bed in Moorhead on Thursday night we were tied!"
While Republicans were holding their rally in Blaine, Mark Dayton was attending much smaller get-out-the-vote events around the Twin Cities.
Dayton told about 50 supporters packed into the St. Paul home of DFL state Rep. Alice Hausman that their work over the next few days will determine whether Dayton will be the first Democrat to be elected governor in Minnesota in 24 years.
"It's going to make all the difference. It really is. You and the thousands of others who are out there today and tomorrow, Monday and one last effort on Tuesday. It all comes down to who shows up on Tuesday," he said.
Dayton is scheduled to fly around the state on Monday visiting places like Duluth, the Iron Range, Rochester and Worthington.
"We're trying to get everywhere. You can't get absolutely everywhere but we're trying to demonstrate that in Minnesota in a statewide election, every vote counts and every vote is equally important," he said.
While Dayton was trying to motivate volunteers, the Independence Party's Tom Horner spoke at a local version of comedian Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" at the State Capitol.
"We don't have Democratic ideas, we don't have Republican solutions, we don't have Independence Party agendas for the future, we have Minnesota solutions," he said.
Dayton and Emmer are relying on their parties' well-established infrastructure to mobilize supporters.
Horner is hoping he can convince middle of the road voters who are frustrated with extremes of the other two major parties to support him.
"I'm going to continue to have the positive conversations in the closing days, to talk to Minnesota about my vision for the future, and hope that that in the end is what moves those undecided voters, those soft Dayton supporters to understand that this has to be an election about the future, not about the past," he said.
Horner and the other candidates will have one last opportunity to make their case to a statewide audience.
MPR News will broadcast the final debate on the radio live at 4 pm on Sunday.