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.

Confirmed Cases: 24190

Reported Deaths: 1036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin8181606
Ramsey2863122
Stearns201413
Nobles15125
Anoka136370
Dakota126354
Washington61731
Olmsted60810
Kandiyohi4901
Rice4522
Clay42426
Scott4082
Todd3130
Wright3051
Mower3031
Sherburne2372
Carver2062
Benton1753
Steele1590
Blue Earth1380
Martin1295
St. Louis11814
Freeborn1150
Pine890
Nicollet8610
Unassigned8610
Winona7915
Carlton730
Watonwan710
Cottonwood700
Crow Wing682
Goodhue663
Otter Tail640
Chisago611
Polk612
Itasca5410
Dodge520
Chippewa491
Lyon490
Morrison450
Meeker450
Le Sueur441
Douglas410
Becker390
Jackson390
Murray390
McLeod340
Isanti320
Waseca260
Rock220
Mille Lacs191
Faribault180
Swift180
Wabasha180
Fillmore171
Pennington170
Sibley160
Brown152
Beltrami140
Cass132
Norman130
Pipestone120
Kanabec111
Wilkin113
Marshall100
Pope90
Wadena90
Aitkin80
Koochiching70
Yellow Medicine60
Mahnomen61
Lincoln50
Renville50
Big Stone40
Grant40
Red Lake40
Redwood40
Clearwater30
Hubbard30
Traverse30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Houston20
Lake10
Kittson10
Stevens10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19217

Reported Deaths: 531
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4160125
Woodbury274034
Black Hawk173944
Linn94976
Dallas89220
Marshall89216
Buena Vista7350
Johnson6149
Wapello5589
Muscatine55641
Crawford5142
Tama40227
Scott35810
Dubuque34518
Louisa34311
Jasper26116
Pottawattamie2578
Sioux2190
Washington1888
Wright1670
Plymouth1292
Warren1260
Allamakee1204
Story1091
Mahaska9310
Poweshiek908
Henry711
Bremer696
Des Moines621
Clinton611
Boone610
Taylor540
Clarke530
Guthrie503
Cedar461
Benton411
Webster391
Monroe385
Shelby370
Jones360
Hamilton350
Clayton343
Iowa330
Buchanan330
Osceola330
Marion320
Cerro Gordo281
Cherokee280
Madison282
Fayette270
Lee250
Winneshiek240
Monona240
Jefferson230
Harrison220
Davis210
Lyon210
Dickinson200
Grundy200
Mills190
Floyd191
Sac180
Humboldt170
Lucas170
Hardin160
Hancock160
Delaware150
Keokuk150
Clay150
Appanoose153
Butler151
Emmet140
Ida140
Page130
Greene130
Franklin130
Cass120
Howard120
Audubon121
Jackson120
Winnebago110
Pocahontas110
Chickasaw100
Carroll90
Van Buren90
Adair90
Kossuth90
Union70
Adams70
Montgomery70
Palo Alto60
Unassigned60
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Ringgold40
Worth30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
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