Don't underestimate the likelihood of billionaire and reality TV personality Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination for president, a Minnesota member of Congress cautioned the nation Sunday, pointing to his own state putting a onetime feather boa-flaunting pro wrestler in charge.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., during an appearance on ABC-TV's "This Week," said voters "better be ready for the fact that [Trump] might be leading the Republican ticket."

Challenged by host George Stephanopoulos that "I know you don't believe" Trump can actually be the challenger to the Democratic nominee in November 2016, Ellison reminded viewers that Minnesota voted in Jesse Ventura as governor in 1998.

"You know, George, we had Jesse Ventura in Minnesota win the governorship," the representative from Minneapolis said. "Nobody thought he was going to win. I'm telling you, stranger things have happened."

Polls in recent days have thrust Trump into front-runner territory against a GOP field that is sizable in number and consumed with the bombastic New Yorker's penchant for dropping verbal bombs regarding immigrants from Mexico making trouble in the United States and the war record of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482