MINNEAPOLIS - It was Republicanvice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's first stop in Minnesota since joining the Romney ticket, but his visit was about money not votes.
The private event at Solera in downtown Minneapolis drew several top Republicans including Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Congressman Erik Paulsen, but the fundraiser was closed off to the media. Donors were asked to contribute between $1,000 and $25,000 to the campaign.
"The candidates are starving for cash," says Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the U of M's Humphrey Institute. "The money raised will be out the door almost immediately to pay for ads in other states."
No public fanfare for Ryan's visit is another indicator that Minnesota is not a swing state.
"Neither campaign is actively campaigning here," says Jacobs. "Instead, they are using Minnesota as an ATM."
Jacobs adds that with fundraisers comes silence, a strategy used on both sides.
"They're both trying to build a close relationship with voters and they don't want to be seen rubbing shoulders the wealthy," he says. "That's why media are rarely in the room and everything is off-camera."