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Super Tuesday race tightens in Amy Klobuchar's Minnesota

With the Vermont senator's campaign surging nationally and Klobuchar still struggling for a breakthrough, observers increasingly see the race in Minnesota as a toss-up.

Posted: Mar 1, 2020 12:12 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Bernie Sanders has a shot to deliver an embarrassing blow to Amy Klobuchar in the moderate senator's home state on Super Tuesday, thanks to a large and motivated progressive base in a state where she was once considered a shoo-in to win.

With the Vermont senator's Democratic presidential campaign surging nationally and Klobuchar still struggling for a breakthrough, observers increasingly see the race in Minnesota as a toss-up. Losing her home state would be hugely damaging to Klobuchar, whose main selling point throughout the campaign has been her three statewide victories for U.S. Senate, which she points to as proof she can win with cross-party appeal in America's heartland.

“If she can't make that argument in her home state, she's not going to be able to make it anywhere else,” said Gregg Peppin, a veteran Minnesota Republican strategist.

Sanders, who won Minnesota's precinct caucuses in 2016, planned to bring his Super Tuesday campaign to St. Paul for a rally Monday night.

Klobuchar sounded confident about her chances during a FoxNews town hall Thursday night.

“I think I should win my state,” she said. “I think I’m 10 points ahead there and have done a lot of work and people know me well there.”

But her campaign in recent days has not exuded confidence. In a memo released Monday on the state of the race, campaign manager Justin Buoen stopped short of predicting victory, saying “we also expect Amy to do well” in Minnesota. Klobuchar had a last-minute rally set for Sunday night in suburban St. Louis Park to try to lock down her home turf, and she planned to return home for primary night.

Meanwhile, the airwaves and social media feeds have been full of ads for Michael Bloomberg. and the campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren had get-out-the-vote events planned for the weekend. It was unclear, though, whether they will siphon much support from Klobuchar or Sanders.

“Amy Klobuchar is the hometown favorite, and she's going to get a lot of support because of that, but there are devoted Bernie Sanders supporters," said Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. "Those people are not going to decide on Klobuchar because of a home-field advantage, they're going to be voting their passion and consciences for Bernie Sanders.”

One wild card in the race is that this is Minnesota's first presidential primary since 1992, and the first that's binding on both parties since 1956. Among the unknowns is how many voters — in a state that doesn't have registration by party — might stay home because their names and party preferences in the primary must be reported to the state's major parties.

Klobuchar has a long list of endorsements from much of the Democratic establishment in Minnesota, including former Vice President Walter Mondale and current Gov. Tim Walz. But Sanders has the backing of two progressive stars with national followings — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Attorney General Keith Ellison — as well as some other office-holders on the left. TakeAction Minnesota, a powerful grassroots organization, is mobilizing supporters to turn out for Sanders.

“It will be close in Minnesota, but people who support Bernie are very clear about their support for him,” said Kenza Hadj-Moussa, the group's director of public affairs.

TakeAction Minnesota counts 150,000 people within its “universe,” Hadj-Moussa said, ranging from full members to people on its digital lists to veterans of previous campaigns. The group has been reaching out to those people via text-banking, phone calls, emails, and door-knocking in low-income neighborhoods, she said, and they're identifying additional Sanders supporters.

And they're ready to keep it up through November if he's the Democratic nominee.

“We'll be supporting his campaign for as long as he's running,” Hadj-Moussa said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 270157

Reported Deaths: 3297
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin579261084
Ramsey24528470
Anoka19211213
Dakota18738176
Washington12351104
Stearns1200389
Scott735654
St. Louis712297
Wright646135
Olmsted604730
Sherburne499538
Clay435954
Carver397312
Blue Earth367011
Rice350331
Kandiyohi337613
Crow Wing306729
Nobles293828
Chisago27778
Benton256338
Otter Tail251415
Winona240928
Mower232822
Polk222221
Douglas211929
Morrison207521
Lyon189810
McLeod18089
Beltrami177115
Goodhue173126
Becker16769
Itasca165223
Steele16396
Todd161412
Isanti159115
Carlton148310
Nicollet144523
Freeborn13625
Mille Lacs129030
Le Sueur12899
Waseca128710
Pine11625
Cass11538
Brown112610
Meeker10117
Martin97020
Roseau9443
Hubbard92822
Wabasha8961
Dodge7770
Watonwan7604
Redwood75118
Chippewa7437
Renville68818
Sibley6844
Cottonwood6800
Wadena6706
Pipestone65618
Aitkin64722
Rock6259
Houston6012
Fillmore5910
Yellow Medicine55310
Unassigned52756
Murray5173
Pennington5076
Kanabec49711
Swift4835
Faribault4650
Pope4620
Stevens4342
Clearwater4156
Marshall4047
Jackson3981
Lake3463
Koochiching3275
Wilkin3175
Lac qui Parle3123
Lincoln3081
Norman3006
Big Stone2711
Mahnomen2404
Grant2256
Red Lake1833
Kittson1786
Traverse1190
Lake of the Woods821
Cook570

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 210482

Reported Deaths: 2173
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31270322
Linn13252158
Scott1022075
Black Hawk10209126
Woodbury9870111
Johnson900835
Dubuque866490
Story637819
Dallas595555
Pottawattamie574666
Sioux349925
Webster330928
Marshall327841
Cerro Gordo323041
Clinton303637
Buena Vista290214
Muscatine266964
Des Moines266116
Plymouth257937
Warren254610
Wapello239971
Jones221112
Jasper202739
Marion191518
Carroll188220
Lee188015
Bremer176012
Henry16847
Crawford168215
Benton157414
Tama145140
Jackson13608
Delaware134721
Boone127711
Washington126513
Dickinson126210
Mahaska119027
Wright11425
Buchanan10789
Page10774
Hardin105810
Clay10434
Harrison101428
Clayton10084
Cedar98913
Hamilton9877
Mills9806
Calhoun9787
Fayette9588
Lyon9458
Floyd92614
Kossuth9214
Poweshiek91512
Butler8943
Winneshiek88910
Winnebago87423
Iowa86711
Louisa79916
Hancock7947
Chickasaw7853
Grundy77310
Sac7617
Cherokee7484
Cass73519
Appanoose7336
Shelby7184
Allamakee71111
Mitchell7074
Emmet70123
Guthrie69215
Union6866
Franklin67619
Humboldt6495
Madison6414
Jefferson6121
Palo Alto6044
Unassigned5810
Keokuk5237
Pocahontas5072
Howard4999
Osceola4941
Greene4860
Clarke4564
Ida42810
Monroe42812
Montgomery42610
Davis4225
Taylor4162
Adair4066
Monona3912
Fremont3432
Worth3330
Van Buren3294
Lucas3056
Decatur2950
Wayne2836
Audubon2811
Ringgold1832
Adams1521
Rochester
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Albert Lea
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Austin
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