Klobuchar: Dem nominee in 2020 needs understanding of 'left behind' voters December 14, 2018
By CAITLIN OPRYSKO | POLITICO
Sen. Amy Klobuchar said Friday that the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 needs to appeal to voters in the Midwest who she argued had been forgotten in 2016.
And while she said she is still just “considering” a 2020 bid, the Minnesota senator suggested that she could be the candidate capable of connecting with the voters she said Democrats left behind two years ago.
Asked to make a case for her potential candidacy by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, the Minnesota Democrat acknowledged that she was mulling a White House run and said that she felt “too many people were left behind” in the last election.
“I think that it is really important that whoever we put up has an understanding of those voices that weren't heard in 2016 from the Midwest and really from the middle of the country, and from the middle of our citizenry,” she said.
Democrats are looking to rebuild their so-called “blue wall” in the Midwest after losing states in 2016 like Michigan and Wisconsin that had reliably voted for Democratic presidential candidates but were key in clinching President Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was criticized after her 2016 defeat for her lack of appeal and attention to blue collar voters, dropping states like Pennsylvania, another brick Trump pried from Democrats’ blue wall, and Ohio, a key swing state.
Klobuchar said Friday that any Democrat who hopes to win the nomination should be aware of and be prepared to address the concerns of that voting bloc.
“There were too many people who got left behind, and when I look at this, I am someone who goes not just where it is comfortable, but where it is uncomfortable,” she said.
The Democratic primary for the 2020 nomination could feature dozens of candidates, with two candidates already declaring their candidacy and a third forming an exploratory committee this week. But Klobuchar said that a lot of competition would be “good for the democratic system” and that anyone who is considering a run should decide whether they think they can beat President Donald Trump.
“You should not exclude people based on anything except for being able to gather the support the win, and are they able to run a campaign with decency and dignity,” she told Mitchell.