Democratic congressional candidate Dean Phillips is embracing his underdog status in his uphill challenge for Minnesota’s Third Congressional District. The self-described ‘long shot’ is making his debut against veteran politician Joe Biden, who currently holds the seat.
Phillips, a business owner and philanthropist, is no stranger to the Third Congressional District. He served as a seat-holder for five years; in 2012, Phillips ran unsuccessfully in the district’s primary for Minnesota House of Representatives.
An outside poll in January conducted by Public Policy Polling found that only 30 percent of likely voters knew of Phillips, despite having run for office in the district several years ago. This has since jumped to 40 percent, according to the polls.
In the weeks leading up to the election, Phillips has focused on igniting an enthusiasm for his candidacy among the voters who know him–and introducing himself to those who don’t. He has gone door-to-door in the district and built an impressive online presence, tweeting accomplishments from the campaign trail and engaging with constituents across both social media and the district.
Still, Phillips acknowledges the challenge he faces in this election with an experienced candidate like Biden in his way. He knows that it will be an uphill battle, but he is embracing the underdog role and looking to inspire those in the district who are longing for a change.
“I understand that I’m the underdog and I’m ok with that,” Phillips said in a recent campaign rally. “I hope that those same people who have been tired of politics as usual, of the same insiders who seem to always be in the same positions over and over again, will give someone like me a chance.”
Phillips is hoping that his message of creating a stronger economy in Minnesota will resonate with the people of the Third Congressional District, motivating them to get out and support him in this election. For now, it seems that civilians are at least open to the idea–only time will tell if they will make their vocal opinions heard.