Amy for America
Memo: Iowa State of the Race
From: Justin Buoen, Campaign Manager, and Norm Sterzenbach, Senior Caucus Advisor
RE: Iowa State of the Race
Date: January 31, 2020

Gaining Momentum
Recent Iowa polling confirms what we’re seeing on the ground: Amy Klobuchar is on the rise. Two months ago, Senator Klobuchar was averaging over 5% in the polls. In the final week before the caucuses, following standout debate performances, high-profile endorsements, and a 99-county tour of Iowa, the last six polls have shown Klobuchar surging at just the right time.

Quinnipiac: 5%
Monmouth: 5%
CBS / YouGov: 5%
Des Moines Register: 6%
Iowa State University: 5%

Emerson: 10%
Iowa State University: 4%
CBS / YouGov: 7%

Des Moines Register: 6%
Monmouth: 8%
FRA / Binder: 11%
CBS / YouGov: 7%
NY Times: 8%
USA Today / Suffolk: 6%
Pod Save / Change: 10%
Emerson: 13%
Iowa State University: 11%
Monmouth: 10%
Morningside College: 11%
Park Street Strategies: 12%

In addition to her strong momentum in the polls, Amy is also a top contender in second choice preferences -- an important factor in a contest where not all candidates will be viable at every caucus site. 

Amy just received the endorsement from our 18th legislator, State Representative Dave Williams, and continues to hold the lead for most former and current legislative endorsements of anyone in the race. These legislators are not just lending their names to the campaign, they are mobilizing their communities for Senator Klobuchar. 

Amy has also picked up the most newspaper endorsements of the 2020 candidates -- the Quad-City Times, the New York Times, the New Hampshire Union Leader and the Keene Sentinel

Our recent field numbers indicate momentum as well:
  • In the past two weeks, through our contacts on the doors and phones, our organizers and volunteers have identified more first choice caucus-goers for Amy Klobuchar than at any other point in the campaign.
  • In fact, we have seen a 178% increase in identified supporters in the month of January alone.
These numbers indicate that undecided caucus goers are committing to Amy at the most consequential time in the campaign. 

Amy has worked hard over the last year to build a campaign that will continue to grow her momentum and get her message out, even during the impeachment trial. As Amy likes to say, she’s a mom and can do two things at once. The past two weeks have proven one thing: Amy is the hardest-working candidate in this field. 

During the trial, she has hosted three tele-town halls with over 35,500 Iowans, engaging directly with caucus goers and answering their questions. She has been the first and only candidate to make a surprise appearance in the state on four hours notice, and has done close to 20 local media interviews across the early states from DC since impeachment proceedings began.

Amy’s daughter, Abigail Bessler, has served as the campaign’s top surrogate, visiting satellite caucus locations and hosting Hotdish House Parties in 10 towns. Additionally, our robust field operation, which doubled in size over the fall, is making sure caucus goers know why Amy is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump and win big in November. 

Areas of Strength
We have a statewide strategy that is not just focused on the top six most-populated counties. Achieving viability in rural and mid-sized precincts will propel us forward in the delegate count. 

Delegates are apportioned to the counties in a way that gives more value to smaller, rural counties. 80% of the delegates come from precincts that will have attendance less than 400 people -- requiring less people to be viable. 

Amy has consistently shown force in rural areas. In addition to focusing on targeted urban and suburban precincts, Amy has visited all 99 counties, and her support in polls focusing on rural areas have reflected her strength as well. 

Organization By The Numbers
  • Over 120 staff on the ground
  • 19 offices across the state  
  • Engaged with over 35,500 Iowans through tele-town halls 
  • Reaching out to 100,000 Iowa caucus-goers per week 
  • 18 endorsements from current Iowa legislators 
  • Visited all 99 counties
  • Only top-tier candidate to have visited all 31 Obama-Trump counties 
  • 10 Hot Dish House Parties
  • Over 35 surrogate events during the impeachment trial
  • Hosted organizing events in every county in one day in Iowa, also known as “The Full Klobuchar”
This is now the decision time for Iowans. Amy’s campaign has never been about a viral moment or something that just sounds good on a bumper sticker -- it is about a steady approach and a strong organization that will peak at the right time. 

The Iowa caucuses will be an important moment for many of the campaigns in this primary, including ours. As the Senator next door, Amy has been a champion on the issues most important to Iowans and knows what it takes to win in the Heartland. In Minnesota, Amy has won rural, urban and suburban districts alike, including more than 40 counties Trump won in 2016. She attracts Independents and moderate Republicans, as well as our fired-up Democratic base, with a unifying message.

That’s the approach she’s brought to Iowa, and what we will continue to discuss in the final days leading into caucus day.

Amy for America
For Immediate Release: January 7, 2020

Amy For America To Host “Full Klobuchar Day of Action” Across Iowa 

Minnesota and Iowa Campaign Surrogates Will Host Organizing Events in All 99 Iowa Counties on Saturday, January 11

DES MOINES, IA — Amy For America today announced it will host a “Full Klobuchar Day of Action,” featuring organizing events in all of Iowa’s 99 counties on Saturday, January 11. Surrogates from across Iowa and Minnesota will visit organizing events in all of Iowa’s 99 counties to fire up supporters and volunteers just 23 days before the Iowa Caucuses. 

“In the nearly one year since Amy launched her campaign for President, we’ve built an impressive ground game in Iowa that is ready to compete and turn out our supporters on caucus night,” said Lauren Dillon, Amy For America Iowa State Director. “On January 11, Amy supporters and undecided caucus goers alike will see our organizational strength in action as we host events in all of Iowa’s 99 counties -- something no other campaign has done this cycle. Our support among Iowans continues to grow in the final weeks of this race, and we’re eager to build on our momentum here through a day of widespread, coordinated outreach that will be felt in every county in the state.”

Surrogates attending events on Amy’s behalf will include her husband, John Bessler, as well as former U.S. Attorney and Iowa Democratic Party Chair Roxanne Conlin, Iowa State Senators Liz Mathis and Kevin Kinney, and Iowa State Representatives Andy McKean, Sharon Steckman, Bruce Bearinger, Marti Anderson and Cindy Winckler. 

Surrogates from Minnesota will include State Auditor Julie Blaha, State Senators Jason Isaacson, Nick Frentz, Ann Rest and John Hoffman, and State Representatives Cheryl Youakim, Ginny Klevorn and Zack Stephenson. The events will include canvass launches, phone banks and organizing meetings. 

Klobuchar is the only candidate to have qualified for the January debate who has visited all of Iowa’s 99 counties. She continues to have the support of more current and former Iowa legislators than any other candidate in the race. 

Details on each of the 99 events are forthcoming. 

Amy for America
December 13, 2019

 Lauren Dillon, Amy for America Iowa State Director
RE: Iowa State of the Race


Gaining Momentum
In recent weeks, Senator Amy Klobuchar has seen a surge in Iowa. Weeks after her support doubled in the Des Moines Register’s latest poll, Amy came in at 10% in this week’s Emerson College poll -- her biggest showing yet. With nearly 50 days until the Iowa Caucuses, momentum is building for Amy in the Hawkeye state. 

Amy is a champion of the issues most important to Iowans and knows what it takes to win in the Heartland. While nearly two-thirds of Iowans remain undecided on whom they plan to caucus for on February 3, there is one issue that unifies caucus-goers across the board: defeating Donald Trump. 

In recent weeks, there has been a surge of interest in Amy as Iowans begin to seriously consider their options in the final weeks before the caucuses. In addition to Amy’s strong showing in the latest Emerson poll, Amy is also a top contender in second choice preferences -- an important factor in a contest where not all candidates will be viable at every caucus site. 

Amy is traveling the Hawkeye state like no other candidate -- she has visited 70 of 99 counties and is committed to visiting all 99 counties before caucus day. As the Wall Street Journal reported, Amy is “engaged in the oldest of Iowa campaign tactics: simply showing up, a lot.” 

Amy means it when she says that no town is too small to visit. She meets people where they are -- that is what she has always done and that is what Democrats need to do to take back the White House and put our country back on the path to progress. 

  • Associated Press: Klobuchar gaining traction in Iowa with Midwest sensibility. “Quick with a joke and unsparing in her mockery of President Donald Trump, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her Midwest sensibility show signs of gaining traction in Iowa, her neighboring state and where her presidential ambitions rise and fall...But what’s helping Klobuchar, 59, gain traction at a key moment in the intensifying campaign for the Iowa caucuses, more than a punchy campaign style, is a self-assured sense of the possible and a bold recitation of what she has done.”
  • The New York Times: As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon. “Meanwhile, no other hopeful is drawing more chatter in Iowa as a compromise choice among moderates than Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has spent more time in the state than any of the top candidates.”
  • The Chicago Tribune: “There are some signs of momentum for the Minnesota moderate. At a time when many candidates in that group are stagnating in the polls and struggling to keep their campaigns financially afloat, Klobuchar’s operation is growing. She is one of just six candidates who has qualified for the December debate and is in the midst of doubling her Iowa campaign offices to more than 20, doubling her paid staff in New Hampshire and has hired up in the other early states of Nevada and South Carolina. She also has been on the move in the polls, with a recent survey by The Des Moines Register and CNN showing her support doubling to 6% since September.”
Amy has the support of more current and former Iowa legislators than any other candidate in the race. She has picked up five new legislative endorsements in the past three weeks alone: Sen. Kevin Kinney, Rep. Sharon Steckman, Rep. Cindy Winckler, Rep. Bruce Bearinger, and Sen. Todd Taylor.  

Ramping Up Investments
  • We currently have over sixty staffers on the ground in Iowa -- and will continue to grow. 
  • We have recently added seven field offices -- bringing the current number of Iowa offices to 17. We will expand to 20 offices by the end of the year. 
  • We have also expanded our senior staff, hiring Norm Sterzenbach as our Caucus Senior Advisor, John Davis as Early States Director and Christina Freundlich as Deputy Early States Director. 
  • This past weekend, on her 25th trip to Iowa this year, Amy visited her 70th county. She is on track to hit all 99 counties before caucus day. 

Amy Can Beat Donald Trump
  • A majority of caucus goers — 63% — say it’s most important to nominate a candidate with a strong electoral argument to beat the President.
  • The Washington Post reported in covering our campaign in Iowa, “every Democrat argues that he or she can win back Trump voters; Klobuchar is the only candidate with receipts.”
  • Amy can win the “Blue Wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.
  • Amy doesn’t just do well in Democratic areas. She has won in rural, urban and suburban communities across Minnesota. She’s won every single red, rural congressional district —ones that Donald Trump took by double digits — and she’s won them not once, not twice, but three times, including Michele Bachmann's district. In 2018, she won 42 counties carried by Donald Trump in 2016.

Amy’s Message Is Resonating
Iowans connect with Amy’s values. She looks you in the eye, she tells you the truth and doesn’t make promises she can’t keep. Amy has the Midwestern grit that many Iowans can relate to -- she’s honest, she values hard work and she’s a straight-shooter

Iowans also want a candidate who will get things done. 52% of caucus-goers want someone who is advocating for policies that will become law.

Particularly when it comes to health care, Amy has consistently agreed with Iowans: Most Democratic caucus-goers prefer a health care plan that will build on the Affordable Care Act and the creation of a public option.

Iowans agree: 
  • “She has an approach to getting things done that’s actually achievable and won’t alienate half of the country,” Thompson said, [Radio Iowa
  • Connie Boesen, a city councilor, pronounced that she was leaning in Ms. Klobuchar’s direction because “she’s realistic,” a reference to the senator’s moderate politics. [New York Times
  • “We need to look hard at Amy because she can be the voice for all of us,” Craig Floss said. “I see her as being solid in the middle. She’s just a good Midwestern senator and that I appreciate a lot.” [Radio Iowa
  • “She’s a lot more realistic than a lot of them,” said Maxine Willadson, 64, a registered nurse who later attended a campaign event in the back of a restaurant in rural southern Iowa. “I think she speaks to us. I can relate to her.” [Associated Press

Historical Perspective
  • According to the Des Moines Register, three candidates who went on to win the caucus had not yet captured the lead in November and sometimes trailed by large margins. 
    • Ted Cruz was in third place in October 2016.
    • John Kerry was in third place in November 2004. 
    • Rick Santorum was tied for sixth place in November 2011.
    • Rick Santorum and John Kerry were in the same position where Amy currently stands in this race in 2012 and in 2004. 
  • Presidential candidates don’t want to surge too early in Iowa. The New York Times reported that Amy’s “energy is coming at just the right time, long enough before the Iowa caucuses to allow Ms. Klobuchar to expand her operation but not so early that the momentum is gone by early February, when caucusing and voting begins.”
    • In the 2012 race, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich shot to 25% and first place in a November poll of likely Republican caucus-goers, after polling at fifth place with 7% in October. The lead disappeared by the end of December, and Gingrich came in a distant fourth on caucus night. 
In the coming weeks, we expect Amy’s momentum to continue to grow as more Iowans get to know her, learn what she can do for America and why she is the best candidate to take on Donald Trump. Amy will continue to travel the state -- she will listen to people and build support person by person, precinct by precinct and county by county. That has always been our strategy and it will continue to be over the next month and a half. 

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