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

For the Klobuchar campaign, South Carolina was never a focus.

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

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.

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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!”