Lara Brown at The Hill:
While uncertainty abounds over what will happen in Iowa on Monday night, it is clear that if the Iowa caucuses were the proverbial smoke-filled back room of the party bosses, rather than a wintry endurance test for activists, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) would win. After gaming out the pros and cons of the available candidates, the bosses would realize that she is the most electable “dark horse” in the race.
An ideological moderate, Klobuchar’s bipartisan track record makes her broadly acceptable to the wider electorate. She hails from the Midwest and has demonstrated that she can win in Republican districts. She possesses an impressive political resume and has served in the U.S. Senate since 2006. She also offers more benefits than any of the four frontrunners.
According to a year’s worth of qualitative data collected by YouGov, Klobuchar is perceived as not only “intelligent,” “competent” and “reliable,” but also “likable” and “committed.” This combination is no small feat. Only former vice president Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg also are thought to be both “intelligent” and “likable,” but neither is considered “competent” or “reliable.” Even though Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are perceived as “intelligent,” neither is seen as “likable.” While both senators also are believed to be candidates who will “stand up for ordinary people,” neither is viewed as “committed.”