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In campaign's final days, Trump plans Minnesota stop Sunday

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves with his wife Melania Trump at a campaign rally in Wilmington, N.C., Nov. 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

ST. PAUL—Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has indicated in recent days that he thinks Minnesota is his to win, will make his first public visit to the state Sunday, Nov. 6.

"We're going to Minnesota," Trump said at a rally in Florida, according to reporters who were there. Trump's Minnesota campaign confirmed the visit.

Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey said the rally will be at 2 p.m. at the Sun Country hangar at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, according to initial information from the Trump campaign.

"I think it's a strong signal that Minnesota is more in play than people might imagine," Downey said. "Donald Trump would not be coming to Minnesota if he didn't think he could make a difference and actually perhaps pull off a victory here in Minnesota."

Minnesota polling has shown Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with a lead in the single digits, but Downey said the election has been moving in Republicans' direction both here and nationwide.

Jason Lewis, the Republican congressional nominee in the south-suburban 2nd Congressional District, said he hoped Trump's visit reflected inside information about how Minnesota was trending.

"I'm hoping they've got some information that suggests the ground is swelling," Lewis said. "I do think they sense something or they wouldn't be doing it."

While the state has a decades-long record of voting for Democrats for president, Trump has shown strength among outstate voters in Minnesota.

Trump visited Minnesota once during his campaign, for an August fundraiser in downtown Minneapolis. But the Republican nominee did not hold a public rally during that visit.

The rally was arranged at the last minute. Downey was initially unaware of Trump's visit when asked about it by a Pioneer Press reporter Saturday morning, though he received details shortly afterwards.

David Montgomery contributed to this report