Senator Amy Klobuchar is Minnesota's most beloved politician

Minnesota's senior U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.   Photo: Courtesy of Amy Klobuchar

Minnesota's senior U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Photo: Courtesy of Amy Klobuchar


By Craig Helmstetter, Managing Partner

Senator Amy Klobuchar is Minnesota's most beloved politician

Minnesota’s senior U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar, is occasionally mentioned as a possible presidential contender. She once again rose to national prominence in last week’s Judiciary Committee’s hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

How well-liked is Klobuchar? In both of the statewide surveys we’ve been involved with over the past year, Klobuchar has received higher ratings than any other politician on the list.

Less than three weeks ago we collaborated with the Star Tribune and MPR News on a Minnesota Poll of 800 likely voters, Klobuchar’s 57 percent favorability rating exceeded all other office-holders and candidates in the survey by 20 or more percentage points, including:

  • Governor Mark Dayton (37%)

  • U.S. Representative and gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz (37%)

  • U.S. Senator Tina Smith (32%)

  • President Trump (31%)

  • Hennepin County Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson (26%), and

  • U.S. Representative and Attorney General candidate Keith Ellison (20%).

Klobuchar appeals even to some of the state’s Republican voters: 14 percent rated her as favorable and less than half rated her as unfavorable. Besides Republicans, Klobuchar received favorable ratings from at least 47 percent of all groups of likely voters represented in the poll, including a notably conservative subgroup: men age 50 or older.

A majority of all Minnesotans (and nearly all subgroups) have favorable opinions of Senator Klobuchar

Source: APM Research Lab analysis of MPR News | Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, September 10-12, 2018. N=800 registered Minnesota voters who are likely to vote in November; overall margin of error = +/-3.5. Question: "Do you recognize the name Amy Klobuchar? (IF YES) Do you have a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of Amy Klobuchar?" Note: The fewer than 1 percent overall who indicated they do not know Klobuchar are not represented in the graph.   For additional details, including definitions of regions,   click here   .

Source: APM Research Lab analysis of MPR News | Star Tribune Minnesota Poll, September 10-12, 2018. N=800 registered Minnesota voters who are likely to vote in November; overall margin of error = +/-3.5. Question: "Do you recognize the name Amy Klobuchar? (IF YES) Do you have a favorable, unfavorable or neutral opinion of Amy Klobuchar?" Note: The fewer than 1 percent overall who indicated they do not know Klobuchar are not represented in the graph.

For additional details, including definitions of regions, click here .

Klobuchar’s political appeal was also reflected in our statewide Ground Level Survey with Minnesota Public Radio News just over a  a year ago. In that survey of over 1,600 Minnesotans, more approved of her job performance (64%) than then Senator Franken (59%), Governor Dayton (55%), or President Trump (36%).

At that time Klobuchar was top-rated by both women and men, and her job performance was approved of by more than half of adults in each of the eight regions represented in the survey. She was the only politician in the survey with such widespread appeal.

Over half of Minnesotans in all parts of Minnesota approve of Senator Klobuchar’s job performance

Source: MPR News | APM Research Lab 2017 Ground Level Survey of Minnesotans (August 22- September 14). Question: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Amy Klobuchar is handling her job as one of Minnesota’s U.S. Senators?”   For additional details, including definitions of regions,    click here    .

Source: MPR News | APM Research Lab 2017 Ground Level Survey of Minnesotans (August 22- September 14). Question: “Do you approve or disapprove of the way Amy Klobuchar is handling her job as one of Minnesota’s U.S. Senators?”

For additional details, including definitions of regions, click here .

In 2006 Klobuchar become the first woman elected by Minnesotans to serve in the U.S. Senate—and her approval ratings have been consistently positive ever since. Star Tribune surveys dating back to 2007 show her approval ratings ranging as high as 72 percent in April 2017 and as “low” as 59 percent in April 2009 (similar to her 57% favorable rating in the September’s Minnesota Poll).

In addition, Minnesota’s CBS affiliate, KSTP-TV’s pollster recently noted, “In 45 separate SurveyUSA tracking polls going back to 2007, Klobuchar's Net Job Approval [percent approving minus percent disapproving] has never been below zero. Today she is plus 25.”

Poll Watch: How Minnesotans have rated Sen. Klobuchar’s job performance since she got into office


With this track record, and a 30 point lead over Republican challenger Jim Newberger, Klobuchar’s spot in the Senate is all-but-guaranteed. Klobuchar is the most beloved active politician in the state—and the central role she has recently played in the Senate’s judiciary committee is raising her profile nationally.

-Craig (@c_helmstetter)

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Craig Helmstetter