Friday, February 14, 2020

The "Klo-mentum" delusion

Sure, Sen. Amy Klobuchar's third place finish in the New Hampshire presidential primary was a surprise. And yes, her post debate fundraising haul last week and post primary influx this week is a definite positive for her campaign.

But as Jim Geraghty of National Review suggests, there's still no indication of any long term staying power.

Right before Christmas, we saw the Politico headline: “’The surge is real’: Klobuchar makes late push in Iowa.”

To the extent we can feel confident in the announced Iowa results, Klobuchar won 12.3 percent or so of the votes in the first round — nothing to sneeze at! That finish is pretty darn good for a candidate who began the cycle with almost no name recognition. But that total is also fifth place, and Klobuchar got one delegate out of Iowa.

The good news is that Klobuchar indeed appears to have closed strongly in New Hampshire . . . right around the 15 percent delegate threshold, anywhere from third to fifth place
, depending on how Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren finish. Klobuchar could finish third tonight and generate a lot of buzz (she did and she did - ed.).

But in the limited polling we have in Nevada, Klobuchar is seventh, behind Andrew Yang. And in South Carolina, she’s eighth, behind Tulsi Gabbard. Maybe if Biden quit the race, a lot of not-openly-Socialist Democrats would be shopping around for a new candidate, and Klobuchar could pick up a bunch of supporters. But at this point, Biden sounds like he’s staying in the race until at least South Carolina.

Three days after South Carolina is Super Tuesday: fourteen states, deciding 1,344 delegates. The good news for Klobuchar is that one of them is Minnesota, and she should have a leg up on winning a majority of the state’s 75 delegates. But beyond that, it’s slim pickings for a candidate who hasn’t had the resources to build a big organization in every state. Nationally, Klobuchar is in sixth place, averaging just below 5 percent. She’s a distant seventh in California.

In the coming weeks, Klobuchar is probably going to experience the painful gap between “beating expectations” and “winning outright.” The problem with respectable third place finishes is that there’s two other rivals ahead of you, and it is almost impossible to get the nomination that way.

If by some unforeseen circumstances Klobee wins the Dem nomination, I'm certain she will humbly accept and be all in for unseating President Trump. However, this run has always felt like a trial balloon for 2024. Think about it. If Trump were to be reelected (a solid assumption as of today at least), Klobuchar would be well positioned to be the Dem front runner should she fall short this year. And since her Senate seat is up again in '24, it would allow her to forgo reelection for that office and be unshackled for another presidential run.

Regardless, the needy Minnesota media will still breathlessly report on everything she does the rest of this cycle. Pass the vomit bags.


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