Klobuchar could see boost in momentum, fundraising after NY Times endorsement

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., addresses the crowd during the King Day at the Dome rally Monday in Columbia, S.C. The New York Times has endorsed both Klobuchar and Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic nomination for president.
Sean Rayford | Getty Images

The New York Times has endorsed two women in the Democratic presidential nomination battle: Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. The nod could help Klobuchar raise more money for her campaign and bolster her profile — especially in places where she has not spent a lot of time campaigning.

"May the best woman win," concluded the editorial board's unusual dual endorsement. In announcing its picks, the editorial board wrote that Warren and Klobuchar are the most effective advocates for both the radical and the realist models. Each candidate, it stated, warrants serious consideration.

The editorial board placed Warren in the "radical" category. Among other things, she favors eliminating private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan for everyone.

The Times described Klobuchar as a "realist." She does not support banning private health insurance and is instead pushing for a government-run plan that people could opt into, if they choose.

The Times wrote that Klobuchar has emerged as a standard-bearer for the Democratic center.

Klobuchar’s campaign issued a statement saying it’s honored to have the endorsement and that the paper's backing makes it clear that she is the candidate for Americans who are fed up with "the noise and nonsense coming out of Washington."

"It helps, of course, with fundraising,” said Klobuchar's campaign manager, Justin Buoen. “It also adds strength to the organization on the ground and I think it also just reminds folks nationally what a great candidate Amy is."

Klobuchar is running in fifth place in Iowa and New Hampshire and seventh place nationally, according to a RealClearPolitics compilation of recent polls.

The dual endorsement, as unusual as it is, is an important development for Klobuchar, according to Tim Hagle, a political science professor at the University of Iowa.

"Absolutely this is good because it's going to give her more attention, particularly when you get past Iowa where her name won't be as recognizable,” he said. “And if people say, 'Oh, who is this? Let's take a closer look,' that'll give her perhaps a little bit of momentum, particularly if she does well in the Iowa caucuses."

The endorsement should help Klobuchar raise more campaign money, said Hagle.

As for her standing in the various polls, he said it's unclear how the endorsement might change that.

Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford doesn’t expect a big shift in Klobuchar’s poll numbers.

"I tend to think that newspaper endorsements are elements of an earlier age in American politics and journalism,” he said.

Voters now have many information sources to consider when deciding which candidates to support, said Goldford. The Times' endorsement, he noted, is less monumental than it once would have been.

"Is it something that can accelerate her from fifth position up into second or first position? That would be a shocking development at this point," said Goldford.

Klobuchar campaigned in South Carolina and in Iowa Monday ahead of the beginning of the impeachment trial, which will keep her and three other senators running for president off the campaign trial for the foreseeable future.