MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sen. Amy Klobuchar joins a crowded Democratic field of presidential candidates, but she’s no stranger to running a winning campaign for office

Amy Klobuchar’s “neighbor next door” persona disguises a fierce political will.

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After 20 years in public life, Minnesota’s senior senator is one of the most popular senators in the country with a 60 percent approval rating.

In three Senate races, Klobuchar received more than a million votes, once nearly two million – beating her opponents by as many as 35 points.

Klobuchar was a Minneapolis lawyer in 1998 when she won her first public office as Hennepin County Attorney and winning re-election with no opposition.

In the Senate, Klobuchar carefully nurtured a record of bipartisanship, working with Republicans to pass less-than-controversial but important bills like swimming pool safety, voter registration and the farm bill.

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But Klobuchar’s deliberate reach-across-the-aisle strategy won friends, including the late Republican Sen. John McCain.

Her national profile rose, catapulted into the national spotlight after a caustic exchange with Supreme Court nominee Bret Kavanaugh about drinking – earning the coveted pop culture honor of a Saturday Night Live parody.

Klobuchar won her third Senate term in 2018 by 24 points, winning 85 or Minnesota’s 87 counties, including 45 counties that voted for President Trump in 2016.

Among many Democrats, Klobuchar is a longshot for President, but she is among the few with a strong Midwestern base in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It’s the same base that elected Donald Trump and a key to 2020.

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Sen. Klobuchar will make her first trip as a presidential candidate to Iowa later this month. WCCO will bring you coverage from the campaign trail.