Klobuchar drops bid, will endorse Biden

Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks during a campaign rally in Falls Church, Va., on Saturday. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks during a campaign rally in Falls Church, Va., on Saturday. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

On the eve of the Super Tuesday Democratic presidential primaries, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is ending her presidential bid and reportedly will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the Associated Press, the Minnesota senator is flying to Dallas and plans to join Biden at his rally Monday night.

Klobuchar’s exit comes a day after Pete Buttigieg suspended his presidential campaign on Sunday night. An adviser to Buttigieg told Reuters the former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg also plans to endorse Biden.

Klobuchar and Buttigieg were both considered centrists in the race, appealing to many of the same voters as Biden. Mike Bloomberg, who is also viewed as a moderate, remains in the race; the other two leading candidates, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, are competing for voters on the party’s left wing.

With the exception of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who is still running but a minor factor in polling, all of the remaining Democratic candidates are older than 70. 

The latest polls out of Minnesota showed Klobuchar was facing a nailbiter against Sen. Bernie Sanders in her home state’s primary on Tuesday. Sanders is scheduled to hold a primary eve rally in St. Paul, where he will be introduced by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who endorsed him last fall. Klobuchar is still likely to win delegates in her home state, which began early voting on Jan. 17.

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The peak for Klobuchar’s campaign was a five-day stretch in New Hampshire, where a Friday night debate performance led to a boost in fundraising and eventual third-place finish in the Granite State primary. Klobuchar was an establishment favorite, accruing a number of newspaper endorsements including the New York Times (which co-endorsed her along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren), but she failed to gain traction with nonwhite voters. She finished sixth in both Nevada and South Carolina, unable to gain traction in the more diverse states.

Klobuchar’s career as a prosecutor haunted her, as in January Black Lives Matters and the Minneapolis NAACP called for her to suspend her campaign over an Associated Press story questioning a 2002 case her office handled that resulted in a life sentence for an African-American teenager. On Monday night, a protest over the case led to the cancellation of a campaign event in Minneapolis.  

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