Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar faced off against fellow Democratic presidential candidates Tuesday night in the final nationally televised debate ahead of the Iowa Caucuses. 

The Minnesota Democrat, still trailing the top four rivals in the polls, focused much of her energy on President Donald Trump, the Star Tribune's Stephen Montemator reports.

Strong performances in recent debates resulted in a boost in fundraising and positive coverage. So how did Tuesday's showing compare? Here's a look at what leading publications and pundits are saying. 

CNN's Chris Cillizza declared Klobuchar a winner, but noted she "was less of a standout in this debate than in the last" debate. 

"Would Klobuchar have hoped for a little more of a star turn in this debate? Yes. Will she be broadly happy with her performance? Also, yes."

New York Times opinion writers offered mixed reviews, with an average score of 6.6 out of 10. 

"The new centrist hope. Her reasonableness, competency and empathy could carry her to an upset in Iowa, and maybe in New Hampshire, too." - Hector Tobar

"A weak debate. She often stumbled and sounded uncomfortable. She must be all in on Nevada with all the casino and gambling references." - Liz Mair

"Another solid, personable performance that probably isn't going to be quite enough to lap [Pete] Buttigieg in Iowa." - Ross Douthat

The Washington Post's Aaron Blake put her answers on healthcare in the winner's column: 

"Medicare-for-all has come up so much in these debates that bringing it up often elicits groans from people who cover these things. Little of it seems new anymore. But Klobuchar carved out her niche on it Tuesday night."

Politico's David Siders, meanwhile, said she tied with former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg for worst night: 

"For worst night, let’s call it a tie between Buttigieg and Klobuchar. They did fine. But this was primarily a debate between Biden and Sanders, with some good moments for Warren thrown in. Buttigieg and Klobuchar were on the margins on a night they both needed to be making a statement."

Professor and analysist Jeanne Zaino writes for Fox News that Klobuchar "gave a good enough performance that – as something of a regional favorite –may enable her to do better than expected in the caucus."

"The senator from Minnesota is an authentic Midwesterner and she put that on full display during the debate. She was tough on Trump, which is what most Democrats want and she proved tonight that when it comes to the moderate lane, she is a strong competitor for Buttigieg."

Some dinged Klobuchar for stumbling to remember the name of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly during a riff on women winning: 

"If you are going to name drop the Kansas governor, you should remember her name" - New York Times' Robert Leonard.

"Her inability to remember Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's name was more than a little cringe-worthy" - CNN's Chris Cillizza. 

 

What did you think of Klobuchar's debate performance? Share your thoughts in the comments field below.