The Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes
that since January, Klobuchar has introduced 12 bills, nine with Republican co-sponsors. And many of them focus on consumer protection and law enforcement, a hallmark of her past as Hennepin County attorney.
Another key is Klobuchar's personal popularity.
"Amy Klobuchar has done a spectacular job of building a broad political base in the state," said former Rep. Vin Weber
(R-Minn.). "No one is under any illusions that she is going to be easy to beat at all. I don't know for sure of anybody actually preparing to run against her. I expect somebody to come forward, but as of now, the field is pretty clear for her."
There has been -- unsurprisingly, because of the lack of intrigue in the Senate race -- little in the way of public polling of late on Klobuchar. An automated Public Policy Polling (D) survey in December found Klobuchar's approval rating to be around 59 percent and had her winning by double digits over several Republicans in hypothetical head to head contests. The Cook Report rates the race as "Solid" for Democrats.
Peppin mentioned three GOP names who have surfaced as possibilities for the race: Randy Gilbert
, a former candidate for state auditor, former state House Speaker Steve Sviggum
and Bill Guidera
, who works for News Corp. But they are hardly household names. Former Sen. Norm Coleman
(R), who would be a leading recruit, has said he will not run against Klobuchar.
In presidential elections, Minnesota has the longest streak of voting Democratic of any state (1972 is the last time the state went Republican). In 2008, then-Sen. Obama
won the state by 10 points, but 2004 was much closer, as Sen. John Kerry
(D-Mass.) defeated George W. Bush
by three points.