Klobuchar Is Riding a Post-Debate Surge—to the Tune of $2.5 Million

She has a sense of momentum in New Hampshire and a fundraising haul to match.

Amy Klobuchar speaks during the McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner on Saturday in Manchester, New Hampshire.Mary Altaffer/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Amy Klobuchar, riding a wave of momentum from the Friday Democratic presidential debate, has raised $2.5 million in the two days since. The senator from Minnesota broke the news of her fundraising haul in front of a large crowd in New Hampshire on Sunday, two days ahead of the primary election here.

The crowd at the Manchester get-out-the-vote rally was big—with at least five hundred supporters filling a large room to capacity at Southern New Hampshire University—and the crowd excitable, but the biggest cheers weren’t for promises of a new liberal agenda. The crowd wanted to hear about electability, moderation, and bipartisanship. In fact, the biggest cheer of the afternoon was for praise of Mitt Romney and his vote for impeachment. The crowd’s enthusiasm for the former GOP presidential nominee seemed to surprise even Klobuchar.

“The world is upside down and that tells it all,” she laughed.

Her message of moderation was a hit, though. “I don’t always see things in extremes,” she said, in another crowd-pleasing set piece. “If you’re tired of the extremes, you have a home with me.”

Klobuchar didn’t disparage any other candidates by name, but she was blunt in her assessment that some of her rivals were promising too much, like free college tuition for all. Klobuchar explained her platform of supporting free tuition for one- and two-year college programs and reducing, but not eliminating, the cost of four-year college as a matter of prudence and necessity. 

“Sorry, we’re not going to have a shortage of sports marketing degrees,” she told the crowd. “We’re going to have a shortage of plumbers.”

Klobuchar’s Friday night debate performance arguably gave her the juice to make jabs like that. The $2.5 million she raised in the past two days is a huge number for her: Over the course of her entire campaign, she has raised $28.8 million, and in the last three months, she raised just $11.4 million. It was a boost that she told the crowd empowered her to stay in the fight into South Carolina and Nevada. 

She continually referred to her debate performance in Manchester, and for some audience members, the prospect of Klobuchar debating Trump seemed to be one of the bigger reasons for their support.

“I think she’d destroy Trump in a debate,” said Vin Sylvia, who had travelled from Massachusetts to see Klobuchar.

Heather Webster said she had been considering Biden, but he had disappointed her at the debate.

“I was leaning towards him until Friday,” she said, before Klobuchar took the stage. “I just don’t feel good about his debate style. But there’s something about her confidence.”

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.