Buried in the political news of this week was a Public Policy Poll that showed Sen. Amy Klobuchar trouncing every big name Republican in the state in hypothetical matchups for a 2012 U.S. Senate race.
According to the poll, Klobuchar beats Tim Pawlenty by 10 points, Michele Bachmann by 17, Norm Coleman by 14 and Tom Emmer by 18.
More remarkable, PPP surveyed 66 other incumbent senators and Klobuchar was the most popular. The first term senator has also made her mark in Washington where the Washington Post has called her a “rising star.”
What is it that makes Klobuchar a star in Washington and so popular at home?
I would suggest it is a disarming demeanor that allows her to come across as the mom you might sit next to at the PTA meeting or the girl in high school that everyone liked despite the fact she was the smartest kid in the class.
She has churned out legislation that some have belittled for championing issues that everyone agrees with. Lead in toys, pool safety, making it easier to adopt siblings, tougher child nutrition standards for day care – could anyone really take a stand against any of these pieces of legislation? No, not most of us.
But these are issues that people and families care about. She may be the champion of mom issues, but moms vote and they appreciate someone caring and doing something about issues that matter to them.
Klobuchar may get the small stuff but her big picture radar is spot on. She was recently labeled by the Washington Post as an upstart as she and a group of less senior senators attempt to tackle the Senate’s arcane seniority system.
Yes, she has been lock step with the president on the major issues, including health care. But recently she has talked of the need for compromise and working with Republicans on major issues. November 2012 is a long way away, but the very early read is that a Klobuchar reelection bid is one statewide race that won’t be close enough to require a recount.