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With Election Day imminent and uncertain, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent Sunday urging college students and suburbanites in Minnesota, a battleground state Republicans hope to flip for the first time since 1972, to back her former Democratic rival Joe Biden for president.

“I’m happy to be in the state that is going to vote to send Joe Biden to the White House and that is going to send my very good friend and my partner in so many fights, Tina Smith, back to the Senate,” the Massachusetts Democrat said.

Warren made multiple stops over the weekend in Wisconsin and Minnesota campaigning for Biden, bouncing from Brooklyn Park to Northfield and St. Paul’s Macalester College in outdoor, socially distanced rallies.

She called on voters to hold President Donald Trump accountable on several fronts: the coronavirus, the economy, racial injustice, the climate crisis, and what she called attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and overturn Roe v. Wade with a rushed Supreme Court nominee.

“When I watch Donald Trump as he tries to run for re-election by just openly behaving as a racist … I think about what Joe Biden says, that this is a fight for the soul of our nation,” she said to a limited audience of 125 Macalester students, donned in Biden-Harris stocking hats and masks in the chilly 30-degree weather.

Jennifer Carnahan, who chairs the Minnesota Republican Party, released a statement criticizing the Biden campaign for sending a “far-left radical surrogate” to win over Minnesotans. “Elizabeth Warren represents a very small section of the Democrat Party, led by AOC [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez], Ilhan Omar and the Squad, and is more unlikeable than Hillary Clinton, who Minnesota voters nearly rejected four years ago,” she said.

Warren last visited Macalester in August 2019, when she was still considered a front-runner for the Democratic nomination. She dropped out in March after winning no primaries on Super Tuesday, including Minnesota’s and her home state of Massachusetts. She won 15% of the vote in Minnesota, trailing both Sen. Bernie Sanders and Biden, who won with nearly 38% and held a six-point lead over Trump in a Star Tribune/MPR News/Kare 11 poll late last month.

Macalester sophomore Kody Harrington, first in line to hear the senator speak, said Warren had been his first choice for president and has inspired him to run for office one day. Harrington said it concerned him that Minnesota could follow the political trajectory of his home state of Michigan, which was blue until 2016.

“I’m really sad she didn’t win but I’m excited to see her today — but also a little nervous,” he said. “It’s just really like an urban-rural divide that’s getting stronger. Seeing that same thing happen here, it’s a little worrying.”

“Vote soon … because democracy is totally on the line,” she said. “It looks good right now in Minnesota but, boy, I thought it looked good four years ago right now.”

Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751