Saturday, May 04, 2019

May 4 Updates: Popularity; Klobuchar; Iowa 2nd District

May 4, 2019

Check below for: Senator Amy Klobuchar in Iowa City today (May 4); her background, pros, cons, stats, money, donors, endorsements. Plus: (1) How are "early-state activists" changing preferences? (2) A poll of Iowans' top choices. (3) If the general election were held today who could beat Trump? (4) "Who's Running in Dem Primary for Iowa's U.S. House District 2?" (5) And finally, my review of her presentation at The Mill.
* Presidential Candidates Rankings, April 15, 2019 (with updates)
* Impeachment and the Mueller Report, April 22, 2019 (with update),
* Presidential Experience: How Your Candidate Measures Up, April 28, 2019
* Democrats Qualified for Debates: Will Your Candidate be in the Debates? April 29, 2019
* Dem Primary Candidates' Ranking - May 2, 2019: How's Your Candidate Ranked?, May 2, 2019
* May 4 Updates: Popularity; Klobuchar; Iowa 2nd District, May 4, 2019
* What Dems are up against; some insights from 2-1/2 years ago: Donald Trump’s Barrel of Squirrels: How Does the Donald Do It? Sept. 26 2016
* Attacks on our democracy and what we can do about it: Columns of Democracy available from Iowa City’s Prairie Lights and Amazon.
Presidential primary candidate and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is visiting Iowa City today: 3:30 p.m., Iowa City Public Library, Room A; The Mill, 5:00-7:00 p.m. Here's a summary introduction and some stats:

Born 1960, and grew up in Minneapolis-St. Paul; one sister, parents Star Tribune columnist and K-12 teacher; exemplary academic record of high school valedictorian, Yale magna cum laude, and University of Chicago J.D.; two books; married John Bessler (lawyer, law professor), one child, Abigail; partner in two law firms (corporate "regulatory work in telecommunications law"); elected Hennepin County Attorney 1998, 2002; U.S. Senate 2006, 2012, 2018 (58%, 65%, 60%) (first woman elected from Minnesota); very popular in Minnesota, selected for leadership, numerous awards; travelled with Senators McCain and Graham to Baltic and Ukraine 2016; noteworthy televised participation in Kavanaugh and Barr hearings. Sources:;

Negatives: (1) "African American prison admissions in 2006, Klobuchar's last full year [as county attorney], were 22 times higher than whites." Comment: This statement, standing alone, is misleading. Senator Klobuchar's response ("If you look at the data, you will see there was a 65 percent decrease in incarceration of African Americans when you go from the beginning of my term to the end." CNN Sunday, March 17, 2019) may also be misleading. But to be fair, and provide balance, one should also consider this Washington Post analysis: "Amy Klobuchar Cites Bad Data to Claim Credit fior Reducing Black Incarceration," Washington Post, Marcy 21, 2019. Significance requires context: national averages; Hennepin County averages before and after 2006.
(2) "In February 2019, Buzzfeed News reported that Klobuchar's congressional office was 'controlled by fear, anger, and shame'. Interviews with former staffers indicated that Klobuchar frequently abused and humiliated her employees, with as much staff time spent on managing her rage as on official business. Klobuchar was also listed as one of the 'worst bosses in Congress', with an annual staff turnover rate between 2011 and 2016 of 36%, the highest of any senator."; Comment: Sources may be disgruntled employees; Klobuchar may just be hard-driving and as tough on herself as others; may not suffer fools gladly; may have changed behavior since then; would require more research before accepting as valid negative for president.

Donors. Klobuchar raised over $5.2 million in seven weeks (and can add additional $3 million from prior quarter). She had about 100,000 new donors; average donation $40; 85% of donors gave less than $100. Emily Tillett, "2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Reveal First Quarter Fundraising Efforts, CBS News, April 15, 2019.

Endorsements. Klobuchar ranks 4th out of nine: Biden, 80; Booker, 57; Harris, 55; Klobuchar, 39; Warren, 23; Sanders, 22; O'Rourke, 14; Castro, 12; Buttigieg, 11. FiveThirtyEight. Note that endorsements often (but not always) reflect the combined preferences of wealthy donors and Democratic Party officials. Compare these rankings with the ones immediately below.

Early-State Activists. Iowa is an "early state." These percentages indicate which candidates are being considered by activists as possibly worthy of their support. The percentages following the candidates' names are their standing as of December 2018, February 2019, and April 2019. They are ranked by their last (April) percentage -- the most current and relevant. The others provide indication of the direction of their popularity.
On the most current ranking Klobuchar is 5th out of 11. FiveThirtyEight, "Which candidates early-state activists are considering".

Harris 61% 54% 53%
Booker 45% 49% 47%
Warren 24% 40% 35%
Buttigieg - 17% 29%
Klobuchar 34% 37% 26%
Gillibrand 21% 23% 26%
Sanders 29% 29% 24%
Biden 39% 34% 21%
McAuliffe 5% 14% 15%
Castro -- 17% 15%
O'Rourke 34% 14% 15%

Iowa Voters. Most polls measure candidates' national support. Here are the Gravis poll results for Iowa on April 22, 2019.

Biden, 19%
Sanders, 19%
Buttigieg, 14%
Harris, 6%
Warren, 6%
O'Rourke, 5%
Booker, 4%
Klobuchar, 4%
Delaney, 2%
Gillibrand, 1%
Yang, 1%
Castro, 0%

Klobuchar Nationally. Four polls on April 30, 2019, report Klobuchar somewhat below her support in Iowa: CNN, 2%; Quinnipiac, 1%; Morning Consult, 2%; Boston Globe/Suffolk, 1%.

Who beats Trump? Nearly everybody. Real Clear Politics reports the results if a general election were held on May 3, 2019, between six Democratic candidates and President Trump. Here are the projected results, in percentages of votes, Democrat first, Trump second:
O'Rourke, 52%-42%
Biden, 51%-45%
Sanders, 50%-44%
Harris, 49%-45%
Buttigieg, 47%-44%
Warren, 47%-48%

Who's Running in Dem Primary for Iowa's U.S. House District 2?

"After floating the possibility two weeks ago of becoming a candidate for the 2nd District U.S. House seat, Johnson County Democratic Sen. Kevin Kinney has decided not to run. . . . So far, former state Sen. Rita Hart of Wheatland, who was the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Quad Cities attorney Ian Russell, Iowa City businesswoman Veronica Tessler and Scott County Supervisor Ken Croken have expressed some level of interest in succeeding Loebsack." James Q. Lynch, Kinney Decides Against Seeking 2nd District Seat," The Gazette, May 2, 2019, p. A2. That was Thursday; by Saturday we read, "Tessler Bows Out of 2nd District," The Gazette, May 4, 2019, p. A7.

Review of Senator Klobuchar's Presentation at the Mill
(Posted to Facebook May 5, 2019, 11:13 AM)
Please let me know if #SenatorAmyKlobuchar's remarks at The Mill (May 4) are available anywhere in audio. (Video, here: thanks to Tom Carsner, has very poor audio -- but does give sense of crowd size.)

I'm still not endorsing. And my "Academy Award" for Best Campaign Speech Performance won't weigh much in that ultimate endorsement. But credit where due: Senator Amy Klobuchar's May 4 performance at The Mill ranks among the best I've witnessed in 75 years of evaluating campaign speeches.

I'm judging it in the context of where she was, and when it was, for: lack of reliance on notes; content, organization, delivery, timing; awareness of, relationship with, and shaping remarks for audience; energy, authenticity; knowledge of local community, politics and politicians; ability to move audience from laughter to tears (without being maudlin) back to laughter, the John Oliver model (mixing in-depth analysis of serious issues with humor) and Paula Poundstone-quality extemporaneous response to audience; along with, of course, choice of issues and their presentation with understanding, commitment and rational analysis -- plus her unexpected understanding of how to beat Trump.

I've never seen The Mill quite so tightly packed with people wall-to-wall that it was hard to capture in pictures; here's one effort, along with her introduction and a close-up from my ringside seat. And see the previous blog post:

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