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After third place New Hampshire finish, Klobuchar looks ahead to Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday

Klobuchar’s vote total put her ahead of such prominent rivals as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar waving to supporters as she leaves her New Hampshire primary night rally in Concord on Tuesday.
REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl

“So there’s Klobusurge. There’s Klobucharge, and there’s Klomentum,” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota told Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Tuesday morning. Which one did she prefer, Camerota asked?

“I just want people to vote for me,” Klobuchar said. “So I don’t really care.”

On Tuesday night, it was clear that Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, confirming polls that placed him at least a few percentage points above former Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

But Minnesota’s senior senator got her wish. People voted for her. Klobuchar significantly outperformed her peers, earning a third place spot behind Buttigieg and Sanders. Klobuchar received more than double the votes earned by either Sen. Elizabeth Warren or former Vice President Joe Biden. In total, with 90 percent of precincts reporting, Klobuchar received 56,113 votes.

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Of 24 available delegates to the Democratic National Convention, Klobuchar will receive six. Sanders and Buttigieg will each receive nine. Candidates have to at least earn 15 percent of the vote in order to receive delegates, meaning Warren, Biden, and all of the other candidates who each received less, will earn no delegates.

The night was another turning point for candidates who fell behind Warren and Biden. Andrew Yang and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet both dropped out of the race. And CBS reported former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick would likely soon be suspending his campaign. 

At a rally in Manchester, Warren conceded that she would finish behind Sanders and Buttigieg. But she congratulated her colleague in the Senate.

“I also want to congratulate my friend and colleague Amy Klobuchar,” Warren said. “For showing just how wrong the pundits can be when they count a woman out.”

Since polls closed

The momentum pitched by Klobuchar’s campaign was finally visible on Tuesday night. Klobuchar’s campaign said that they had raised $2.5 million since polls closed in New Hampshire. That’s in addition to the $3 million raised after the last Democratic debate last Friday.

“Hello America!” Klobuchar beamed to an audience in Concord, looking directly at the camera. “I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump.”

In Iowa last week, Klobuchar finished in fifth place but came close to pushing past Joe Biden, who significantly underperformed his polling there as well. Sanders won the popular vote in Iowa, but that race has yet to be called, due to the razor-thin delegate contest between Sanders and Buttigieg.

Moving beyond the first two contests of the race, which are disproportionately white in comparison to later state primaries, Klobuchar is polling at around 3 percent in Nevada. And she is struggling to win over black voters who comprise the majority of Democratic voters in South Carolina, where she’s polling at about two percent. Until recently, the candidate had few staffers in Nevada (she now has around 50) and virtually no organization in many Super Tuesday states.

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At her speech in Concord, Klobuchar seemed undeterred, and made her pitch: She is the candidate that Republicans and independents vote for.

“I cannot wait to win the nomination,” Klobuchar said. “I cannot wait to build a movement and win with a movement of fired up Democrats, independents, and moderate Republicans that see this election as we do. We see it as an economic check on this president. We see it as a patriotism check. And we see it as a decency check.”

“My heart is full tonight,” Klobuchar told the crowd in Concord. “While there are still ballots to count, we have beaten the odds every step of the way.”

Calling her organization a “happy, scrappy” campaign, Klobuchar said voters in New Hampshire know her. They know her from when she made the trek into the state during a Nor’easter storm.  They know her from diner stops around the state. And they know her from the debate stage.

“Thank you, New Hampshire,” she said. “We are on to Nevada because the best is yet to come.”