Former Vice President Walter Mondale isn't sugarcoating the electoral chances of presidential hopeful and political protégé Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

"Right now it's a prayer," Mondale said in a recent interview for a story about Klobuchar's record as Hennepin County attorney.

Klobuchar secured a slot in the Sept. 12 Democratic debate, pared down to 10 candidates, but remains stuck in the low single digits in most polls and was not faring well in the DFL Party's bean poll at the Minnesota State Fair.

"I love Amy and I'm supporting her all the way," Mondale said, "but I'm worried about where she is now."

Mondale called Klobuchar "a sensible progressive, a unifier" and added that he wished Democrats "would look for that sort of thing" in 2020. The former vice president, who still considers himself "an old liberal," lamented the lack of appetite so far for "reasonable moderates" instead of more progressive, far-left candidates like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — two leading candidates who drew large crowds in the Twin Cities last month.

"What [Klobuchar] says makes a lot of sense to me," Mondale said. "I like it but it doesn't seem to be getting her anywhere in the polls. So she's got to do something different to be seen and heard I guess, but what that is I don't know."

Stephen Montemayor