Amy Klobuchar moves up in polls following debate


Grant Tetmeyer

Presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar answers questions from moderators Kathie Obradovich and Kay Henderson at the 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by AARP Iowa and the Des Moines Register July 15 at the Olmsted Center at Drake University. Klobuchar answered questions on health care, mental health and immigration reform. 

Lauren Ratliff

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been running for president since Feb. 10, 2019, but is recently seeing a marked increase in support.

Following the Oct. 15 presidential debate, Klobuchar’s support has increased in polls of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers and national polls of Democratic primary voters. Among those who watched that debate or “paid close attention to news stories about it,” Klobuchar was ranked fifth out of the 12 qualified candidates for her performance in it, according to a post-debate Quinnipiac survey.

Klobuchar, who had been at risk of not qualifying for the Nov. 20 debate, qualified with weeks to spare before the deadline following a flurry of post-debate DNC-approved polls.

Though 12 candidates qualified for the October debate, the stricter guidelines in place for November have whittled down the number of qualifying candidates slightly. Nine candidates have qualified as of Sunday, with former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard needing two and three more qualifying polls to receive an invitation, respectively. Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julián Castro has received no qualifying polls.

To qualify for the November debate, candidates must reach three percent support in four national or early-state polls or at least five percent in two early-state polls. Candidates must also receive contributions from at least 165,000 unique donors from at least 400 donors in at least 20 different states. 

“Since Amy’s stand-out performance in the October debate we’ve raised more than $2 million and seen a surge in interest and engagement across the country,” said Justin Buoen, Klobuchar’s campaign manager, in a statement. “Today we’re proud to announce Senator Klobuchar qualified for the November debate after receiving three more qualifying polls in four days. We will use this momentum to continue building on our strong grassroots operation as we head into Iowa and New Hampshire.”

Klobuchar’s campaign has run with a focus on Iowa, with more than half of her field offices in the first in the nation caucus state.

In a recent Civiqs poll conducted for Iowa State, Klobuchar rounded out the top five. The Minnesota senator is the top choice of four percent of likely Iowa caucusgoers, placing her fifth in the Iowa horserace. Individuals were also asked which candidate would be their second choice, and Klobuchar received seven percent second-choice support.