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Editorial: Presidential campaigns are coming to Minnesota

As the political clock clicks down on the upcoming South Carolina primaries and the Nevada caucuses, Minnesotans are watching and waiting for their turn. The South Carolina primaries are scheduled: Republicans on Saturday and Democrats on Feb. 27...

As the political clock clicks down on the upcoming South Carolina primaries and the Nevada caucuses, Minnesotans are watching and waiting for their turn. The South Carolina primaries are scheduled: Republicans on Saturday and Democrats on Feb. 27 and the Nevada caucuses are scheduled: Democrats on Saturday and Republicans on Tuesday.

We have already started seeing the beginning of the political ad wave that will lead up to the Minnesota Democratic and Republicans caucuses on Super Tuesday.

Minnesota will hold caucuses March 1 along with Alaska, American Samoa, Colorado and Wyoming, while nine states and Democrats Abroad will hold primaries on Super Tuesday.

The presidential race for both Democrats and Republicans continues to evolve with each passing day. The results in South Carolina and Nevada will be a preview for Super Tuesday.

The Democratic race has tightened in recent weeks.

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A Fox News polls Thursday showed Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton by three points nationally, but Clinton holding a 28-point lead over Sanders in South Carolina.

Meanwhile. a CNN poll released Thursday on Nevada showed Clinton holding only a one-point lead over Sanders. Once considered a safe state, Clinton is now having to battle Sanders in Nevada. Both Clinton and Sanders are fighting for support among minority voters.

Sanders is barnstorming Nevada this week hoping to score a win or a close second that will give him a boost heading into the South Carolina Democratic Primary and Super Tuesday. Sanders appears to be making inroads, especially among first time voters.

The Republican race continues to be a donnybrook, with Donald Trump holding as double digit lead in a Fox News poll released Thursday over Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Jeb Bush, Ben Carlson and John Kasich all continue to trail with only single-digit poll results.

On the campaign trail, Rubio is accusing Cruz of lying and Trump is threatening to sue Cruz. Cruz challenged Trump to sue him for defamation and said he would run the ad Trump doesn’t like more often.

Meanwhile Bush and Kasich continue to fight to keep their seat at the table, while Carson struggles to stay relevant in the Republican race.

Viewers got extensive looks at all six Republican candidates during the CNN town halls over the past two nights.

The network will hold a Democratic town hall Tuesday.

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Pope Francis stepped into the middle of the presidential race just prior to ending his visit Thursday to Mexico. The Pope suggested that Trump “is not Christian” if he continues to call for deportation of undocumented workers and the building of a wall between Mexico and the United States.

Trump quickly responded saying “no leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.” This response is a bit ironic from the man who often questions the Muslim faith of millions of Americans and immigrants to this country.

Minnesotans should prepare themselves for the 2016 version of the presidential political circus. It is likely to be a very interesting and provocative campaign in both the Democratic and Republican races.

It is still a long way to either political convention.

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