Election 2020

Klobuchar pledges her campaign will last past Iowa

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota speaks during a campaign event at Franklin Junior High School on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is making her final pitches to Iowa voters this weekend ahead of the state’s presidential caucuses Monday, touting her relatively moderate platform and saying she’s the best candidate to defeat President Trump in November.

She’s making several last-minute campaign stops across Iowa before returning to Washington for the continuation of Trump’s impeachment trial on Monday — and she is pledging to continue her campaign regardless of how she finishes here.

“I’m going to New Hampshire no matter what,” she told Fox News on Sunday morning, referring to the next state to weigh in on the presidential election; New Hampshire’s primary is next week.

While CNN and the Des Moines Register threw out their last Iowa poll due to potential errors, Klobuchar was trailing the front-runners in fifth place according to the latest polling averages. She also trailed in fundraising, but says her campaign has momentum and a shot at taking Iowa.

January was Klobuchar’s best fundraising month so far, she said this weekend, without providing specifics.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar greets voters during a campaign event at the Cedar Falls Women's Club on Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Alex Wong | Getty Images

Klobuchar has focused on her electability in campaign speeches, telling voters consistently that she has won in rural areas and typically conservative districts in Minnesota races.

Yvonne Strang, 81, said that’s part of why she supports Klobuchar.

"She's more practical. She's sensible. She's a Midwestern fresh-air person and I think we need somebody modern and practical in there,” the Solon, Iowa, resident said.

Retired social worker Sally Lowe of Waterloo said she first became aware of Klobuchar during the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Now, Lowe supports her for president.

“She’s not bombastic. She’s not trying to pull down other people or other candidates. She just speaks clearly,” Lowe said.

However, Lowe said she’s unsure that Klobuchar can finish ahead of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg or Joe Biden.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks during a campaign stop at Crawford Brew Works on Saturday in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

At a rally in Des Moines’ Beaverdale neighborhood on Saturday night, Klobuchar told attendees that their “job” is to figure out who’s best to win in November, even though caucuses are local events.

"The job of the voters is to figure out, who should we give tickets to? Who should go onto the next level so we can figure out who should lead that ticket?” she said. “We have to think of those general election voters."

Just a day before Monday night’s caucuses, many Iowans remained undecided on who to support.

Brad Sullivan, a carpenter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was still weighing his choice at a Klobuchar event on Sunday morning. The main issues on Sullivan’s mind are strengthening unions, increasing teacher pay and health care.

"I have members of my family that are struggling with physical problems and health care is a big thing,” he said.

Sullivan said he’s deciding among Klobuchar, Sanders and Biden — platforms run the gamut of Democratic candidates' ideals.

Voters like Sullivan have until 7 p.m. Monday, when most caucuses start, to make up their minds.

MPR’s Brian Bakst contributed reporting from Iowa.