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After sixth place finish in Nevada, Klobuchar stays upbeat

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Sen. Amy Klobuchar ended the night in sixth place, behind Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg.

The dust hadn’t settled in Nevada and Sen. Amy Klobuchar was already in Minneapolis on Saturday.

By then, it was clear that Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Nevada Caucuses with a commanding lead. Sanders received more than double the vote of his next closest challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Klobuchar finished in sixth place, behind Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg. With 96 percent of precincts reporting on Monday, Klobuchar received about 4  percent of the vote. Candidates need at least 15 percent of the vote from the caucuses to receive delegates, meaning only Sanders and Biden will walk away with delegates.

But still, on Saturday in Minneapolis, Klobuchar was optimistic. “As usual, we have exceeded expectations,” she said to a crowd of supporters. “A lot of people didn’t even think I would still be standing at this point. They didn’t think I’d make it through that speech in the snow.”


Klobuchar’s campaign was slow to ramp up an organization in Nevada. After the Iowa caucus, staff were shifted to the state, where the campaign initially had only a handful of people. Klobuchar’s Nevada campaign bus came from New Hampshire: 2,700 miles away.

Klobuchar had significant fundraising hauls after the New Hampshire primary and the Democratic debate that preceded it, but her budget is constrained and she is at a significant spending disadvantage when it comes to competing in all 16 of the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries. As of the last Federal Election Commission filing, Klobuchar had $2.9 million in cash on hand. But in comparison, the current Democratic front-runner, Sen. Bernie Sanders, had $16.8 million.

Klobuchar does have some assistance: Kitchen Table Conversations, a Super PAC recently created to keep Klobuchar in the race, spent $345,000 on advertisements in just the week prior to the Nevada Caucuses. And they’ve already spent close to a million on advertisements in South Carolina.

But after a loss in Nevada, any hope of an upward trend will have to wait until South Carolina’s primary this Saturday. There, Klobuchar is not polling well. A recent poll from Winthrop University puts Biden in the lead, Sanders closely following him, with Klobuchar in sixth place (at 4 percent).

In an interview with the Star Tribune, Minnesota’s senior senator said that the campaign felt she got a significant percentage of the vote in Nevada, but the real focus now is the next deluge of primaries. “So we’ve been going up slowly but surely and our real focus right now is on Super Tuesday,” she said. ”And of course South Carolina.”

Comments (26)

  1. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/24/2020 - 10:06 am.

    I’m hoping for a Bernie Sanders/Tulsi Gabbard. Bernie can focus on the economy, and Tulsi can take the lead on holding the eternal war profiteering enterprise accountable.

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 02/24/2020 - 11:00 am.

      Bernie Sanders focusing on the economy? The guy has never had a meaningful job in the private sector. I hope you are not serious.

      • Submitted by Peter Stark on 02/24/2020 - 02:52 pm.

        You heard it here first: carpenter, Head Start teacher, and psychiatric aide are not meaningful jobs to conservatives.

        • Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 02/24/2020 - 05:20 pm.

          Sounds like class A qualifications to be president!

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 02/25/2020 - 03:15 pm.

          Except that Bernie never did any of those jobs regularly. His friends described him as a terrible carpenter who could never make any money doing it. Remember, Bernie’s son grew up on welfare because Bernie didn’t pay child support. He literally was a deadbeat dad.

          Its going to be a Republican landslide if Sanders is the nominee.

      • Submitted by Tom Crain on 02/24/2020 - 07:26 pm.

        That’s what you said in ‘08 about 2 term president Obama

    • Submitted by Alina Trukhina on 02/24/2020 - 11:50 am.

      Tulsi Gabbard has some terrible foreign policy stances, especially in the Middle East. I hope Sanders stays far away from her.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/24/2020 - 04:02 pm.

        Please elaborate. Because as far as I can tell, she does not want to go to war with Iran, she wants us out of Iraq and Syria, and she does not want us taking orders from the Saudi royal family.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 02/25/2020 - 03:03 pm.

      I’ll vote for Sanders if it comes to it, but Gabbard is a deal-breaker. She is a horrible anti-gay and anti-Muslim bigot, not to mention an apologist for genocide.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/25/2020 - 09:11 pm.

        Wow. Trumpism in reverse? Character assissnation instead of policy discussion? Cutting Bernie down too in your previous comment, but then saying you would vote for him? I don’t get it.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 02/26/2020 - 10:29 pm.

          Character assassination? What are you talking about? Pointing out Gabbard’s anti-gay and anti-Muslim record IS discussing policy. Here, I’m giving you a link from Jacobin, which is very much not a neoliberal/centrist/moderate outfit.

          https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/05/tulsi-gabbard-president-sanders-democratic-party

          I don’t like Sanders, but I would vote for him in a second over Trump. My biggest concern is that he won’t beat Trump if nominated. But Gabbard is a different story. She is truly vile.

          • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/29/2020 - 11:05 am.

            Reading that, I am inclined to take back my support for her to be VP. However, your assertion that she is vile is a stretch, and your assertion that she us an apologist for genocide is without merit. If you are refering to her meeting with Assad, then I would say that you are unaware of CIA machinations in that country fomenting the war there, since the mid 90’s, using jihadi types as proxy fighters against the regime.

  2. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 02/24/2020 - 10:24 am.

    Sure she is, she has a clear path forward, its just not leading to the White House.

  3. Submitted by Tom Dietsche on 02/24/2020 - 10:39 am.

    Klobuchar’s policies and pragmatism are well suited to appeal to independents and moderates, but I can’t see her winning the left-wing and minority votes in the primaries. After SC and Super Tuesday, the handwriting will probably be on the wall, and it will be time for a graceful withdrawal from the race. If Sanders wins (as is seeming very possible), he could do a lot worse than picking Amy as his VP, to appeal to swing voters in the middle, and to pick off uneasy former Trump voters.

  4. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 02/24/2020 - 12:06 pm.

    Klobuchar and Buttegieg should drop out now. And Steyer. What needs to happen is that the majority of Democrats who have been splitting primary votes between the not-Bernie candidates must begin to coalesce around a strong anti-Bernie candidate.

    My fave is Warren. She gives us what Bernie’s zealots want to portray as a “movement,” but with the legislative smarts to get it done, and not lose the House majority or a potential Democratic Senate.

    Bernie doesn’t give a damn about the rest of the Democratic ticket, but we all should.

    And we do not need someone who will be 80 or more when taking office–that would include Bernie, Joe, and Mike Bloomberg.

  5. Submitted by Betsy Larey on 02/24/2020 - 04:06 pm.

    It’s a mess. Bernie doesn’t win, and we get Trump for 4 more disastrous years. Only hope is a brokered convention at this point. Anybody but Bernie

    • Submitted by Paul Yochim on 02/24/2020 - 08:48 pm.

      I don’t like either of them but Bernie would be a worse disaster than Trump.

      • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 02/25/2020 - 05:31 pm.

        Sanders, though irascible and perhaps ineffective, would press for a social contract that meets basic needs, a sustainable economy that moves more of the wealth it creates from capital to those who work for a living, and a decent safety net. Trump and his party are burning every norm and institution of democracy to the ground, and his reelection would conclusively end the democratic experiment in favor of an unaccountable and corrupt autocracy that will name and dispose of its internal enemies as it chooses. I prefer the former.

  6. Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 02/24/2020 - 05:31 pm.

    IMHO – Trump is happy as a clam to be running against Sanders. The people who elected him will not support a “socialist” whatever that term means. This election is a total fiasco – so far.

  7. Submitted by David Markle on 02/24/2020 - 05:36 pm.

    The non-Bernies with delegates could end up picking a dark horse.

  8. Submitted by Tom Crain on 02/24/2020 - 07:31 pm.

    I chuckle every time I read the name of her super pac. I assume the other ideas for pac names included “Reachin’ Cross the Aisle” and “Northwoods Grit”.

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 02/27/2020 - 08:54 pm.

    Sanders will win the nomination, and he’ll go on to win the general election.

    The idea that strong popular candidate running on a popular agenda is bad for the Party or unelectable is simply daft. Sanders is saving the Party from itself and it’s moderate regime of failure.

    All you blue no matter who folks better start making yourselves comfortable with the idea of voting for Sanders.

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