Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., exceeded expectations in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night. Klobuchar came away with 19.8 percent of the vote with 83 percent of precincts reporting, putting her in third place behind Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Nationally, Klobuchar is polling at only 4.4 percent, but with her New Hampshire surge and the loss of candidates Andrew Yang and Sen. Michael Bennet Tuesday, these numbers will likely uptick in the coming days.
Klobuchar was a dark horse in the New Hampshire primary. In Iowa, she came away with only one delegate and 12.3 percent of the vote. A third place surge in New Hampshire sets her up for newfound momentum.
In her post-primary victory speech in Concord, New Hampshire, Klobuchar recognized her campaign for beating the odds and mainstream media expectations that she would fail.
“Hello America. I’m Amy Klobuchar and I will beat Donald Trump. My heart is full tonight. While there are still ballots left to count, we have beaten the odds every step of the way,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar continued to emphasize how she was counted out of the race numerous times, yet still found success on Tuesday night.
Tonight is about grit, and my story like so many of yours is one of resilience. I announced my candidacy in the middle of a Minnesota blizzard, and there were a lot of people that predicted I wouldn’t even get through that speech, but not the people of my state and not the people of New Hampshire. Except they predicted that we wouldn’t make it through the summer. We did. Then they predicted we wouldn’t make it to the debates, and man, were we at the debate in New Hampshire. What we’ve been is steady. We’ve been strong, and we’ve never quit.
Pundits are questioning whether Klobuchar has the funding to sustain spending for early voting states. Her surge began after early state voting started and doesn’t have anywhere near the resources opponents such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Joe Biden have moving into Nevada and South Carolina.
In a memo sent out by the Warren campaign earlier on Tuesday, team Warren said:
Senator Klobuchar is getting a well-deserved look from voters for the first time, but hasn’t been able to build out infrastructure for the long haul, and is playing catch up on a very short timeline. Like others in the race, she hasn’t yet faced the tough questions and scrutiny that accompany rising momentum.
Nonetheless, she still outperformed Warren and Biden Tuesday. Warren came in fourth place and Biden came in fifth. Due to his poor performance, Biden left New Hampshire for South Carolina.
In defense of his poor performance in New Hampshire, Biden said the country has only heard from two states, not all 50, so far.
“We just heard from the first two of 50 states. Two of them. Not all the nation, not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation, not 10 percent,” Biden said.
Joe Biden speaks in South Carolina on the night of the NH primary: “We just heard from the first two of 50 states. Two of them. Not all the nation, not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation, not 10%. … That's the opening bell, not the closing bell” https://t.co/RFEp5jkNZK pic.twitter.com/jzhPiNUbzx
— CNN (@CNN) February 12, 2020
In the lead up to the Nevada and South Carolina primaries on February 22 and 29, respectively, Klobuchar, Warren, and Biden will need to spend money and up their ground game to regain strength after Sanders and Buttigieg’s sweep through Iowa and New Hampshire.