How Amy Klobuchar fared in Trump country
After cruising to a third term in the 2018 midterm elections earlier this month, DFL U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is receiving a lot of attention from national media and political prognosticators as a potential presidential candidate in 2020.
Much of the buzz stems from her performance in parts of Minnesota where other Democrats running for statewide office struggled. Here is a look at how Klobuchar outperformed Gov.-elect Tim Walz and U.S. Sen. Tina Smith in precincts won by President Donald Trump in 2016.
Klobuchar's national profile has risen in part on her ability to win votes in Republican-leaning areas of Minnesota.
Consider that about 3,000 of Minnesota's 4,120 election precincts voted for Donald Trump in 2016.
Red areas represent precincts won by Donald Trump in 2016. Precincts that voted for Hillary Clinton are not highlighted.
This year Klobuchar won about 1,250 of those — including many in the Twin Cities suburbs, along with conservative areas in rural Minnesota and regional centers like St. Cloud.
Blue areas represent precincts won by Trump in 2016 and Klobuchar in 2018.
By contrast, DFL Gov.-elect Tim Walz won fewer than 500 Trump precincts — including much of the Iron Range and swaths of southern Minnesota, which he represented in Congress for 12 years.
Blue areas represent precincts won by Trump in 2016 and Walz in 2018.
And Sen. Tina Smith, the state's junior DFL senator, won many of the same Trump precincts Walz did.
Blue areas represent precincts won by Trump in 2016 and Smith in 2018.
In many areas, voters split their tickets, supporting Klobuchar while also voting for Smith's and Walz's Republican opponents.
Blue areas represent Trump precincts won by Klobuchar but not Smith or Walz.
Although she faced a little known Republican opponent, Klobuchar's 24-point victory this year shows a broad base of urban, suburban and rural support Democrats will hope to tap in 2020.
Blue areas represent precincts that voted for Klobuchar in 2018. Red areas voted for her Republican opponent, state Rep. Jim Newberger. Purple areas were tied. Gray areas had no data.
Source: Election results from the Minnesota Secretary of State; precinct data from Minnesota Geospatial Commons. Maps do not include comparison data for a small number of precincts that changed between 2016 and 2018.