Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate

Klobuchar’s lack of support from black voters evident in sixth-place South Carolina finish

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Randall Hill
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking to supporters at a campaign event at Founders Hall in Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 26.

For months, polls placed Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s support with black voters in South Carolina at zero percent. On Saturday, CNN’s exit poll for the South Carolina Democratic Primary showed little improvement: Klobuchar received support from one percent of black voters.

In all, Klobuchar finished in sixth place, behind every other candidate still on the debate stage. She got around 3 percent of the total vote.

Candidates needed to earn at least 15 percent of the vote to receive delegates, meaning only Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who received 48 percent and 20 percent of the vote respectively, won delegates.

For the Klobuchar campaign, South Carolina was never a focus. In the months prior, Klobuchar primarily made her pitch to white moderates. The candidate placed the bulk of her staff in other states and spent most of her time crisscrossing Iowa, where she finished fifth. She spent significantly less time in South Carolina, where black voters are a majority within the state’s Democratic voting bloc.


In the two days that preceded South Carolina’s primary, Klobuchar was nowhere to be found in the state.

Considering her polling, Klobuchar has been asked several times how she intended to win over support from black voters. At a donor event earlier this year, Klobuchar said: “African American women have turned out every single time for Democratic candidates. They need some friends. They need some support. And so when I look at this, I look at independents, and I look at moderate Republicans to add to our numbers.”

Two candidates left the race over the weekend: California billionaire Tom Steyer, who had invested heavily in South Carolina; and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who had also polled poorly with black voters in the state.

Klobuchar has said she will stay in until Super Tuesday — tomorrow, March 3 — when Minnesota and 13 other states will vote for their preferred presidential candidates.

On Sunday, protestors forced the cancellation of Klobuchar’s pre-Super Tuesday rally in St. Louis Park. The protestors, which include Black Lives Matter Minnesota, have repeatedly called for Klobuchar to drop out due to her office’s prosecution of Myon Burrell, a teenager who received a life sentence for the killing of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards.

As the minutes went on and it became clear Klobuchar would not be coming out, protestors sat on the stage and called out: “Free Myon!”

But the mostly white crowd drowned them out, chanting: “Amy! Amy! Amy!”

Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 03/02/2020 - 10:16 am.

    The fact that the “moderate” candidates take the black and hispanic vote for granted, while criticizing and mocking progressives, while courting Republicans, means moderate candidates will continue to lose the presidency.

    What does a return to Obama moderation mean to me? Bank bailouts, corporate favoritism, corporate power-grabbing trade agreements (TPP/TTIP/TISA), billionaire worship, eternal war, Russia baiting, increased income inequality, skyrocketing health care costs, more species extinction and ever greater climate change, debt debt and more debt. So, in other words, the status quo, pretty much what we get with Republicans, just a more moderate face to it.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 03/02/2020 - 11:34 am.

      Every single Democrat running is even worse on all of those things. You place a lot of blame on Republicans, some justified some not, yet ignore the history of the Democrats.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 03/02/2020 - 04:41 pm.

        Bernie is against all those things. Name me a Republican who is against any of it except maybe the TPP (don’t mention debt, because the party is silent about Trump’s trillion dollar deficit, and I have yet to hear a Republican call student debt the debt servitude that it is.)

  2. Submitted by Julie Stroeve on 03/02/2020 - 10:52 am.

    I don’t think Klobuchar did anything wrong, necessarily. The voters in South Carolina have name recognition with Biden because he was Obama’s VP.
    Amy will take another look after Super Tuesday tomorrow. btw, I don’t understand what the deal is with voting privacy in the legislature…we use paper ballots here in Minnesota and I’ve never felt like I don’t have privacy. what are they negotiating?

  3. Submitted by Betsy Larey on 03/02/2020 - 11:57 am.

    I am thinking the progressives should form a 3rd party. The majority of Democrats don’t support their positions (that includes me) That being said, I believe they have a right to be heard. I do not think they should be allowed to run in the Democratic Party as their views align more with the socialists. The only reason they want to stay in the party is to access the money. Since Bernie is such a prolific fundraiser, I think they will be fine raising their own funds.

    • Submitted by George Kimball on 03/02/2020 - 02:06 pm.

      It is getting SO tiring to not only hear Trump supporters continually reveal their ignorance in their inaccurate use of the term, “socialist,” but now even many who claim to be democrats are misusing it as well. Most of us learned the concept in 9th grade. I don’t blame teachers. And for those who forgot, take ten seconds to google the term and you will understand your error. Not even Bernie advocates for our country to adopt actual across the board socialism. No candidate is advocating for the destruction of private enterprise in his country.

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 03/02/2020 - 04:23 pm.

        Bernie’s healthcare plan is single payer which IS a govt takeover of more than 1/6 of the entire economy. So you might want to check the facts first. The GND is pretty close to the same with govt mandating certain businesses (oil, coal and nat gas) out of business thereby taking over the entire energy sector with govt subsidies which is basically the same as direct control.

        Bernie isn’t actually a Socialist either. He’s a full blown Marxist and very close to a Communist. In fact, in a round about way in the 70s he admitted to being a Communist. How someone like that is allowed to run for the Democrat nomination is beyond me.

        • Submitted by George Kimball on 03/02/2020 - 09:35 pm.

          Last I looked this is 50 years AFTER the 70’s so how about we get unstuck in time. Most countries and, arguably, most decent and caring people consider health care a human right. Comprehensive will never occur within a private sector model. If we want to label, then all candidates are democratic socialists because I don’t hear any of them, including repubs, calling for an end to Social Security, public schools, police and fire departments, etc. It’s really a matter of degree, with all including Bernie calling for different LEVELS of government control. None, including Bernie, calling for complete government control. If I’m wrong, please cite links – and please, not from the 1970’s.

        • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 03/03/2020 - 07:30 am.

          Bernie is a communist like Trump cares about the health and welfare of the land, waters, air and people of America. In reality, Bernie is a social democrat in the style of FDR (social security, Medicare, Medicaid etc) while Trump is an oligarch in the style of consumerism.

  4. Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/02/2020 - 12:47 pm.

    And she’s out.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 03/02/2020 - 02:14 pm.

      Not only is Amy Klobuchar now not a candidate for Democratic nomination (she’s withdrawn).

      Those who want to defeat Trump in November have one alternative to vote for tomorrow: Joe Biden. He’s the only remaining moderate with a chance, and Sanders will lose to Trump–American voters are not ready to vote for a guy who defends the literacy program of Fidel Castro in the 1960s, a program set up while Castro was executing all his political opponents in good dictatorial style.

      • Submitted by Peter Zeftel on 03/02/2020 - 06:49 pm.

        Actually Bernie beats Trump in all the polls. Biden is another corporate democrat who would lose to trump.

        The majority of the public support medicare for all, free college and canceling student debt, and raising the minimum wage like Bernie.

        We had free college for white people after WWII called the GI bill which my father and many others used to get thru. This helped develop the great American middleclass of the fifties. Just what we need again.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 03/02/2020 - 04:24 pm.

      But she gets to keep a few million bucks that she didn’t spend so it’s not all bad for her. Meet the new millionaire.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/04/2020 - 01:24 pm.

        You know that she can’t use that money for her own purposes, don’t you? She doesn’t have to refund it – she can donate it to charity or another campaign, or use it to wind up her campaign (e.g. pull an un-Trump and pay outstanding bills), but it isn’t her money to use for whatever she wants.

Leave a Reply