On night of Nevada caucuses, Klobuchar returns to Minneapolis for fundraiser

“Amy! Amy! Amy!”

Those cheers went up as Sen. Amy Klobuchar met with supporters Saturday night.

But she wasn’t in Nevada for caucus night. Instead, she returned to her home state of Minnesota for a fundraiser, and to rally with campaign volunteers.

“We want to win big,” she told the crowd at a Minneapolis campaign office. “As usual, I think we exceeded expectations. A lot of people didn’t even think I would be standing at this point.”

That upbeat performance came as numbers from Nevada were trickling in. As of Saturday night, Klobuchar was in sixth place, with 23% of precincts reporting.

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This came after she campaigned, not just in Las Vegas, but also in rural areas, such as the small mining town of Elko, Nevada.

Campaign volunteers say they’re trying to stay positive.

“As we saw in New Hampshire, she surprised everyone by finishing a strong third,” says Colleen Hermann-Franzen, a Minneapolis-area volunteer. “We’re going to keep that momentum going.”

Klobuchar’s campaign now takes her to North Dakota, Arkansas and Oklahoma City, but she told supporters she’s thinking beyond that.

"From there we go to Super Tuesday, and one-third of America is going to be voting,” Klobuchar said. “And guess what one Super Tuesday state is?”

That state: Klobuchar’s home state.

Her supporters say name recognition outside Minnesota is among the challenges this campaign faces.

Carlton College Political Science Professor Steven Schier calls this weekend a "turning point" for Klobuchar. He believes she’s trying to keep her campaign alive, barnstorming in several smaller states, where she can have high visibility.

Klobuchar herself, made it clear she wants to keep going and that Super Tuesday — including her home state — is a big focus.

"I think some of the resistance is, ‘Who’s Amy Klobuchar?’” notes volunteer Keith Miner. “And I think people are beginning to answer that question."