Amy Klobuchar is running for president in 2020. Here's everything we know about the candidate and how she stacks up against the competition.
Who is Amy Klobuchar?
Current job: US Senator from Minnesota since 2006 and 2020 presidential candidate.
Age: 58Family: Klobuchar is married to attorney John Bessler, with whom she has a 23-year-old daughter named Abigail.
Hometown: Plymouth, Minnesota.
Political party: Democratic/Democratic-Farmer-Labor.
Previous jobs: Corporate lawyer, partner at Minnesota law firms Dorsey & Whitney and Gray Plant Moody, Hennepin County Attorney from 1999 to 2006.
Who is Amy Klobuchar's direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Amy Klobuchar's lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
- Klobuchar's most serious competition comes from inside the Senate. Among those who'd be satisfied with Klobuchar as nominee, 72% would also be satisfied with Sen. Kamala Harris, 61% Sen. Cory Booker, 57% Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 45% Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
- Among those senators, satisfaction figures are considerably higher among Klobuchar fans than among general Democrats. Harris's satisfaction rate among Klobuchar fans is 16 percentage points higher than her general rate, Booker's is 17 percentage points higher, Warren's is 13 and Gillibrand's is a breathtaking 19 percentage points higher than normal. If someone likes Klobuchar, there's a good chance they just like Senate Democrats.
- Joe Biden and Beto O'Rourke do well among Klobuchar fans as well, with their satisfaction rates coming in five percentage points and eight percentage points higher than usual.
What are Amy Klobuchar's policy positions?
- On healthcare
- At a recent CNN town hall, Klobuchar said that while she wants to see universal healthcare coverage become a reality in the US, she does not support Medicare for All, calling it an "aspiration."
- She supports lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 55, and co-sponsored a bill introduced by Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii that would create an expanded public option to allow people to buy into Medicaid or Medicare at a reasonable price.
- Klobuchar has also sponsored bipartisan legislation that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, and allow Medicaid to directly negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
- On immigration:
- Klobuchar voted for 2013 immigration legislation to provide a path to citizenship to most undocumented immigrants without criminal records and increase the availability of skills-based visas while allocating more funding for border security.
- "Our state's economy is so strong and we rely on legal immigrant employees to work at the turkey farms, out in the farm fields and other places like health care assistance," Klobuchar said in 2018.
- She does not support abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but believes the agency should be reformed.
- On climate change:
- Klobuchar does not currently support the Green New Deal, but says she would have the US re-join the Paris Accords if she became president. The international agreement - which the Trump administration pulled the US out of - aims to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 45% by the year 2030 and expand renewable energy output.
- On campaign finance/election reform:
- Klobuchar supports automatic voter registration for Americans, and introduced legislation in 2017 that would have automatically registered people who interacted with government agencies.
- As a member of the Senate Rules Committee, Klobuchar also introduced bipartisan election security legislation last year.
- She opposes the Citizens United decision and has sought to decrease the influence of money in politics. Her own campaign is refusing donations from corporate political action committees.
- On abortion:
- Klobuchar has consistently supported abortion rights in her voting record, earning a 100% alignment rating from Planned Parenthood.
- On LGBTQ rights
- Klobuchar supports same-sex marriage, and has pushed for measures to combat LGBTQ discrimination, writing in a 2013 report that discrimination is "not only morally wrong" but "bad for business and hurts our economy.
- On education:
- While she doesn't support free, four-year college for all, Klobuchar supports reducing student debt burdens and increasing options for Americans to refinance their student loans.
- Klobuchar also supports expanding access to technical and vocational training, including introducing legislation to allow 529 education savings accounts to be used to fund vocational education.
- She's praised a plan introduced by 2020 rival Sen. Kamala Harris that would give US public school teachers an average $13,500 pay raise.
- On guns:
- Klobuchar is from a rural state with a strong hunting culture, joking that she doesn't want to hurt her "Uncle Dick in the deer stand" at a CNN town hall.
- She supports instituting universal background checks, banning assault rifles, and Extreme Risk Orders - also known as "red flag" laws - which allow law enforcement to remove guns from people they determine to be a threat.
- On criminal justice reform:
- Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, recently came out in support of marijuana legalization, saying she believes that "states should have the right to determine the best approach to marijuana within their borders."
- Klobuchar previously supported the STATES Act, which would have prohibited the Department of Justice from cracking down on marijuana in states that have legalized the drug.
- On trade:
- On foreign policy:
- Klobuchar opposed Trump withdrawing troops from Syria earlier this year, voting for a Senate legislation which rebuffed his decision, PBS reported.
- She's criticized Trump for becoming friendlier with US adversaries like Russia's Vladimir Putin and North Korea's Kim Jong Un while distancing himself from traditional American allies, telling MSNBC's Rachel Maddow she believes America must "stand as a beacon of democracy."
- She took a dig at Trump's foreign policy at her campaign launch, saying "we must respect our frontline troops, diplomats, and intelligence officers … they deserve better than foreign policy by tweet."
- On taxes:
- Klobuchar's Senate website says she supports legislation that would "simplify the tax code, close wasteful loopholes, bring back money U.S. companies are holding overseas to fund infrastructure projects here at home, and provide incentives to keep jobs in America."
- She criticized the 2018 Republican tax reform bill, saying it "created a terrible incentive to move jobs and operations abroad to take advantage of tax havens."
- On jobs and the economy:
- On technology:
- Klobuchar represents many rural communities in Minnesota, and has secured federal funding to expand broadband internet in rural areas, as well as improving the quality of infrastructure in rural areas.
- As a former corporate lawyer specializing in telecommunications, Klobuchar has also introduced legislation implementing stronger privacy regulations on tech companies, and supports preventing the proliferation of tech monopolies by limiting big firms from acquiring or merging with other ones.
What are Amy Klobuchar's political successes?
- Klobuchar's first foray into politics was successfully lobbying for the enactment of a Minnesota law that required insurance plans to cover new mothers being able to stay in the hospital 48 hours after giving birth.
- In 2016, Klobuchar sponsored or co-sponsored 27 bills that were signed into law, more than any other senator that year.
- Two bipartisan bills Klobuchar introduced to combat the opioid crisis in 2018 were passed and signed into law.
- Klobuchar was the lead author of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which banned lead in children's products, among other provisions. She described it as the "most sweeping reform" of consumer product safety law in "decades."
How much money has Amy Klobuchar raised?
While presidential candidates have until April 15 to file their next quarterly fundraising reports, Klobuchar reported raising $1 million in the first 24 hours after announcing the launch of her campaign on February 10, according to the Hill.
Could Amy Klobuchar beat President Trump?
Referring back to INSIDER's recurring poll, Amy Klobuchar overall is believed to be a somewhat weaker candidate in a general election against Donald Trump compared to the whole field. Based on responses from Democratic primary voters, for a typical candidate surveyed 36% of respondents think they'd win, 9% think they'd lose, and 55% are unsure. Klobuchar comes in a bit low at this early stage: 27% thinking she'd win, 11% thinking she'd lose, and 62% unsure.
Read more of our stories on Amy Klobuchar:
- Amy Klobuchar is running as a pragmatic, moderate Democrat to take on Trump in 2020 - here's why she could lose the primary.
- Here are all the allegations of staff mistreatment facing 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar.
- Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar has come out in support of legalizing recreational marijuana
- Amy Klobuchar says she doesn't support free 4-year college and called the Green New Deal and Medicare for All 'aspirations'