Democracy 2020 Digest: Klobuchar sees an opening – Can she take it?

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Amy Klobuchar’s surging at just the right time.

The Democratic presidential candidate touted the news on the eve of Tuesday's first-in-the-nation presidential primary in New Hampshire, saying, “As you probably heard we’re on a bit of a surge. I woke up this morning to find out that we are third in two polls.”


The senator from Minnesota stood at 14 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire in the final Suffolk University tracking poll for the Boston Globe and WBZ-TV. That’s up an eyepopping 9 percentage points in the two days after her well-received performance at Friday’s primetime presidential primary debate.

The Democratic White House hopeful edged ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for third place, trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

“We are measuring a continued upward trend for Amy Klobuchar at the expense of Pete Buttigieg,” Suffolk University Polling Research Director David Paleologos said. “This could be a temporary spike of support that might settle back on Tuesday, but if her trajectory continues, she could possibly send Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren into the fifth spot which would be a devastating blow to one of those campaigns."

The senator also saw a more modest bump in the final University of New Hampshire tracking poll for CNN.

Asked what’s behind her rise, Klobuchar told Fox News’ Kelly Phares and other reporters, “I just know we’re doing well because the people in New Hampshire watched that debate they know I’ve got the experience that I’m someone that wins big in rural areas and suburban areas. It’s not just talk for me. I have a deep understanding of these business issues and I’m ready to go to work for America.”

The big question is whether Klobuchar can capitalize on her late tide of momentum.

University of New Hampshire pollster Andrew Smith cautioned, “I don’t think though that Klobuchar’s going to have the organization necessary to take advantage of her debate performance and her performance in Iowa and get those people out to vote. She doesn’t have anywhere near the on-the-ground organization as the other top candidates.”

Putting in the leg work

Fox News’ Tara Prindville was among the journalists in the Warren press corps who caught the Massachusetts senator making her way back to her hotel Monday morning in Conway, N.H., after a 2.2-mile morning walk through the New Hampshire snow. She was wearing a “Make Earth Cool Again” hat.

“It’s a good way to start the day and it’s beautiful out,” Warren said, one day ahead of the state’s primary. “We’ve got just the right amount of snow. Feels like a great day for democracy!”

Later on Monday, Warren paid an unannounced visit to the campaign press bus as it was rolling from Portsmouth to Rochester.

Asked by reporters what she thought of some political pundits writing off her White House bid, Warren said “I've been counted down and out for much of my life. But Mitch McConnell had it right. Nevertheless, she persisted. I can't imagine any other way of doing it. You get knocked down, you get back up. And you keep fighting.”

Bloomberg’s immigration pitch

Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg -- the one candidate not in New Hampshire trying to win over last-minute voters -- spent Monday releasing an immigration plan. Bloomberg’s plan calls for ending the Trump travel ban and family separation at the border while protecting Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.

He promises to order the Justice Department to investigate alleged “abuse” at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The plan also calls for raising the annual refugee resettlement target to 125,000 after the Trump administration lowered the cap to 18,000.

“President Trump’s demonization of immigrants and his fueling of fear and hatred are an ugly chapter in American history that we must close,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “The fact is that immigration doesn’t threaten America, it strengthens America.”

Political tourists flock to Granite State

New Hampshire sees an influx of tourists each winter, as out-of-staters pay a visit to ski, snowboard, cross-country ski and snowmobile in the state’s White Mountains and North Country.

But this past weekend, the state was flooded with a different kind of leisure traveler: the political tourist.

Every four years out-of-staters flock to New Hampshire the weekend before the presidential primary to see all the action and get up close and personal with the presidential candidates – experiencing the retail style candidate-to-voter contact that’s a mainstay in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Reporters speaking to voters the past couple of days at the candidate’s town halls and rallied noticed that many in the crowd hailed from southern New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and beyond.

Fox News’ Tara Prindiville and Kelly Phares contributed to this report