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: 585677

Reported Deaths: 7309
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1214151720
Ramsey50647870
Dakota45309445
Anoka41050434
Washington26510280
Stearns22001221
St. Louis17598302
Scott17081124
Wright15800137
Olmsted1314197
Sherburne1149085
Carver1037345
Clay809992
Rice7978106
Blue Earth742641
Crow Wing655888
Kandiyohi649182
Chisago585851
Otter Tail570178
Benton562397
Goodhue473572
Mower462532
Douglas461874
Winona451250
Itasca424353
McLeod419158
Morrison415460
Isanti412563
Nobles407048
Beltrami389458
Steele382715
Polk381068
Becker376950
Lyon358750
Carlton341453
Freeborn340229
Pine325121
Nicollet321743
Brown303840
Mille Lacs298952
Le Sueur287022
Todd279132
Cass266928
Meeker252040
Waseca236022
Martin229131
Roseau206719
Wabasha20423
Hubbard185341
Dodge18253
Renville178443
Redwood171736
Houston170515
Cottonwood163221
Fillmore154710
Wadena153821
Pennington153419
Chippewa151538
Faribault150419
Kanabec142924
Sibley142010
Aitkin133436
Watonwan13139
Rock127719
Jackson121511
Pipestone114526
Yellow Medicine113820
Pope10876
Murray10609
Swift104518
Stevens89511
Marshall87617
Clearwater85916
Koochiching81615
Lake80619
Wilkin80312
Lac qui Parle75022
Big Stone5954
Lincoln5763
Grant5668
Mahnomen5418
Norman5379
Unassigned48993
Kittson48322
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3193
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 365306

Reported Deaths: 5923
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57333622
Linn20748334
Scott19856240
Black Hawk15765308
Woodbury15097228
Johnson1442583
Dubuque13333209
Dallas1112998
Pottawattamie11060168
Story1056248
Warren574288
Clinton552492
Cerro Gordo536989
Sioux512974
Webster511193
Marshall481375
Muscatine475399
Des Moines452366
Wapello4286122
Buena Vista424040
Jasper417271
Plymouth400380
Lee373855
Marion360775
Jones297257
Henry290837
Carroll285052
Bremer283260
Crawford265940
Boone263234
Benton255455
Washington253550
Dickinson247643
Mahaska229451
Jackson220942
Kossuth215164
Clay214925
Tama209071
Delaware208240
Winneshiek196833
Page192522
Buchanan190531
Cedar188923
Hardin184843
Fayette184741
Wright183936
Hamilton179249
Harrison179173
Clayton169256
Butler164334
Mills161422
Madison160819
Floyd160042
Cherokee158438
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154733
Allamakee150551
Iowa148224
Hancock146934
Winnebago141231
Cass137854
Calhoun136913
Grundy136133
Emmet133940
Jefferson132235
Shelby130537
Sac130019
Appanoose128048
Union128033
Louisa127849
Mitchell125742
Chickasaw123815
Guthrie120829
Humboldt118826
Franklin117721
Palo Alto112323
Howard104222
Montgomery102838
Clarke99824
Unassigned9760
Keokuk95531
Monroe95129
Ida90234
Adair86232
Pocahontas85222
Monona82830
Davis82324
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas77123
Worth7388
Taylor65712
Fremont6229
Decatur6069
Van Buren55718
Ringgold55524
Wayne53423
Audubon50710
Adams3384
Rochester
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Mason City
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Albert Lea
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Austin
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