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Klobuchar Basks In Strong New Hampshire Finish

Allegra Boverman | NHPR
Amy Klobuchar speaks to her supporters at her Primary Night headquarters in Concord Tuesday

The final days of the New Hampshire primary breathed new life into Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar's presidential campaign.

Muddled results in Iowa and an attention-getting debate performance gave Klobuchar a big boost at just the right moment.

Speaking to an energized crowd at her election night party in Concord, Klobuchar thanked supporters for helping her land in third place among a crowded Democratic field.

“And tonight in New Hampshire, as everyone had counted us out, even a week ago - thank you pundits - I came back and we delivered,” she said to applause.

Credit Daniela Allee | NHPR
Klobuchar boosters hold signs at her Primary Night headquarters in Concord

In the last days of the race, the Klobuchar campaign saw a surge in fundraising, bigger crowds at stops around the state, and a steady rise in the polls.

The pivotal moment for many voters, like Jennifer Fox from Goffstown, came during Friday night's televised debate.

"I felt the passion in her voice when she was talking, how she meant what she was saying, she wasn't spinning a sound clip...she felt, she believed what she was saying," Fox said.

At another weekend Klobuchar convert, Judy Pence of Manchester said the Minnesota senator also conveyed the toughness and grit to take on President Trump.

"This is a woman who could get under his skin and not let him get under her skin, and I think I would love to see that," she said.

Gina Moses has supported Klobuchar since the summer. She says when she’s knocked on doors for her, she’s seen that Klobuchar can appeal to a broad slice of the electorate, not just committed Democrats.

"We've had more than one Republican say that they thought she was a great candidate and she was a really great candidate."

On election night in Concord, Klobuchar told the crowd her third place finish, behind Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, was a team effort.

"We have beaten the odds every step of the way, we have done it with ideas, we have done it with hard work," she said.

Klobuchar heads to Nevada in the coming days.  In her closing speech in New Hampshire, she promised to bring a message of unity to the next contests.

Janet Breslin is the chair of the town democratic committee in Salem. She says she sees a unifier in the Minnesota senator.

"My soul feels better because she is a woman of integrity and American values. And I've been missing American values," she said.

Daniela is an editor in NHPR's newsroom. She leads NHPR's Spanish language news initiative, ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? and the station's climate change reporting project, By Degrees. You can email her at dallee@nhpr.org.

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