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Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar To Suspend Presidential Campaign, Endorse Biden

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has ended her presidential bid.
Patrick Semansky AP
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has ended her presidential bid.

Updated at 4:15 p.m.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is suspending her presidential campaign, just one day before her home state was set to vote on Super Tuesday.

The Democrat plans to endorse former Vice President Joe Biden and appear with him in Dallas on Monday night, according to her campaign.


Minnesota is one of 14 states voting Tuesday. There has been little polling of Minnesota, but Klobuchar had held a small lead in surveys there.

Her decision to suspend her campaign follows a similar announcement from fellow Midwesterner Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. Klobuchar and Buttigieg sparred often during Democratic debates, as both candidates strove to present themselves as the best pragmatist option not named Joe Biden.

In the end, it was Biden who outlasted them both.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the current delegate leader, has held sizable polling leads in the two largest states voting Tuesday, California and Texas, but if Biden, who is trying to consolidate moderate support, is able to pull in significant portions of both Buttigieg's and Klobuchar's coalitions, his prospects could brighten considerably.

Biden, who's second in delegates, received another endorsement Monday, from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said he believes Biden is the candidate best able to defeat President Trump.


A Midwestern moderate

Klobuchar saw a surge of momentum and fundraising after a strong debate performance and a third-place showing in the New Hampshire primary, but, like Buttigieg, she struggled to expand or sustain that support as the primary moved into larger, more diverse states.

She finished sixth, with just 3% of the vote, in South Carolina on Saturday.

The senator from next-door Minnesota had campaigned heavily in Iowa. She had held nearly 200 events in the state, and traveled to all 99 of its counties. She ended up finishing fifth there.

In Iowa and elsewhere during the campaign, Klobuchar often stressed her Midwestern roots and more moderate Democratic policies. She said she was a candidate who was able to get things done — and win in battleground areas.

And she made jokes.

She often talked about getting big money out of politics by telling the story of her first Senate race, and how she had so little money that she would call people she'd dated to fund-raise.

"I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends," she said at a debate last year. "And I'd like to point out — it is not an expanding base."

She also touted several newspaper endorsements, including a co-endorsement (with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren) by The New York Times, an endorsement by the Quad-City Times in Iowa and endorsements by a few New Hampshire outlets, including the Union Leader in Manchester.

But early in her campaign, she also faced questions that took the spotlight off her policy positions and put it onto how she treated her staff. Anecdotes swirled about hair comb salad forks and flying binders.

"I cried. I cried, like, all the time," said one former staffer, according to Buzzfeed.

In an interview with NPR last March, Klobuchar argued that voters should not be worried by the accusations. She acknowledged that she does "push people hard," but her campaign denied the specific allegations, and argued that she is just a tough boss with high standards.

Klobuchar was one of four senators still running for president while also serving as jurors in the impeachment trial of President Trump. The trial's schedule disrupted the final weeks of campaigning around the Hawkeye State.

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