George F. Will Columnist covering politics and domestic and foreign affairs Surely the silliest aspirant for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination is already known: “Beto,” a.k.a. Robert Francis, O’Rourke is a skateboarding man-child whose fascination with himself caused him to live-stream a recent dental appointment for — open wide , please — teeth cleaning .
The Land of 10,000 Lakes and four unsuccessful presidential candidates (Harold Stassen, Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale) now has someone who could break the state’s losing streak.
Klobuchar is from a state contiguous with Iowa, whose caucuses might, or might not, be as big a deal in 2020 as they have been since Jimmy Carter’s 1976 success in them propelled him toward the presidency.
(Early voting for California’s March 3 primary, in which probably 11 percent of delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be allocated, begins the day of Iowa’s caucuses, so some candidates might slight Iowa in order to court California.)
Minnesota also borders Wisconsin, one of the three Rust Belt states (the others are Michigan and Pennsylvania) that Donald Trump took but that had voted Democratic in at least six consecutive presidential elections.
She is from the Midwest, where Democrats need help in Michigan (Trump carried it by just 0.3 percent of the vote), Iowa (Trump by 9 percentage points) and Ohio (Trump by 9 points).
Minnesota has voted Democratic in 11 consecutive presidential elections (since it spurned George McGovern, from neighboring South Dakota, in 1972).
It has more electoral votes (10) than such swing states as New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6), Nevada (6) and Colorado (9).
In the Almanac of American Politics’ most recent (2015) vote rankings, she was the 27th most liberal senator, liberal enough to soothe other liberals without annoying everyone else.
— Klobuchar is the potential top-tier candidate most apt to resist forfeiting the general election while winning the nomination.
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