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One week left: Ryan stops by traditionally blue Minnesota


ST. PAUL, Minn. – Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan visited an unexpected state just one week before Election Day: the traditionally Democratic-leaning Minnesota.

Although the Romney campaign was taking a break from campaigning because Superstorm Sandy – which wreaked havoc Monday along the Eastern seaboard, Ryan made two “stops” in the Twin Cities – an apparent nod that the GOP is trying to put Minnesota in play.

The Wisconsin congressman first landed at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Tuesday afternoon, walking down the steps past the press with his wife Janna.

This quick photo opportunity for locals came as Ryan headed just across the border into Wisconsin to thank volunteers at the Hudson, Wis. Victory Center for gathering donations for hurricane victims.

“I just want to thank you all for coming together and helping put this effort together. This kind of effort is happening at victory centers around the country,” Ryan told the crowd standing amongst nonperishable foods.

Noting the mere seven days before the election, Ryan added: “I also want to thank you for helping us in this election, for working at these victory centers.”

Alex Moe / NBC News

Paul Ryan stopped by the Hudson, Wis. Victory Center on Tuesday.

Ryan, joined by his wife, brother and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus among others, stopped to grab dinner in downtown St. Paul before boarding a flight to fly back to Wisconsin – giving the press another opportunity to capture the GOP VP nominee in the state of Minnesota which awards 10 electoral votes.

"Hi guys, how are you doing?" Ryan said as he walked into O'Gara's Bar and Grill and took a seat next to his wife and other dinner guests.

President Barack Obama won Minnesota in 2008, but Romney and Ryan have not paid much attention to the state until the past several days. Many believe the GOP ticket may be trying to make inroads in Minnesota and Pennsylvania at the last minute to help Romney’s path to victory on Nov. 6.

The Democrats dispatched former President Bill Clinton to Minnesota on Tuesday – possibly acknowledging that the state could be in play next week.

"I have worked very hard in this election and I'm not running for anything," Clinton said Tuesday at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota, according to Minnesota Public Radio. "And that's because, notwithstanding what Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan say, I am more enthusiastic about President Barack Obama than when I campaigned for him four years ago."