Hundreds of voters turned out to see 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar speak in Dover on Sunday, at the first of seven town halls she has scheduled throughout the state in the next few days. Klobuchar cast herself as a pragmatist who can draw votes in purple states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Her audience in Dover included some die-hard supporters. But many in the crowd said they were still deciding who to back in the upcoming Democratic primary. Wendy English of Dover was wondering if Klobuchar might be the one.
“She’s become more on my radar recently – because of her moderate nature, and some of her debate performances were pretty good,” English said.
English and other undecided voters say they hope the Democratic nominee will have broad enough appeal to defeat Trump. In her remarks, Klobuchar cast herself as just that person. She touched on policy plans, including a public health insurance option, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and prioritizing aging, opioids and gun safety – while focusing on her ability to pull support from swing states in the Heartland.
"We can do this, but we have to have a candidate who can bring people with us and not shut them out,” Klobuchar said.
Lines like that earned Klobuchar applause. But Scott Marion of Rye said just being able to win isn't enough.
"We've got to beat the guy who's there – electability is important,” he said. “But then you've got to be ready to do something with it. That's what we want to see from her."
Tom Parrott of Durham said he sees more than just “electability” in Klobuchar.
“You also need someone you can believe in – that’s going to be able to put some progressive ideas out there but also follow through and work with people to do that, and she can do that,” Parrott said.
Klobuchar is one of five Democrats who've qualified – so far – for the next Democratic debate, on Jan. 14 in Iowa.