Presidential candidate and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar will make her first campaign stop in Pittsburgh Wednesday. She will appear at Stack’d Burgers in Oakland at 6:30 p.m., according to the campaign’s calendar.
As first reported by the online political journal Politico, the trip is part of a “blue wall” tour that will take in venues in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. White working-class voters in those states were pivotal to Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory, and flipping them back is key to Democrats’ electoral plans next year.
A Monday-afternoon release from the Klobuchar campaign said her Oakland appearance would follow a mid-afternoon union meeting, though details were scarce. The release said Klobuchar would concentrate on econmoicy issues "including investing in infrastructure [and] strengthening our rural and agricultural communities." Her visit will come days after The New York Times reported new allegations related to sexual assault by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Klobuchar, who gained national attention by grilling Kavanaugh about the allegations during his nomination process last year, said the report added to her belief that last year's vetting of Kavanaugh was a "sham."
Klobuchar has positioned herself on the moderate end of the field of Democratic candidates, with an appeal to voters who might feel “stuck in the middle of the extremes in our politics.” While the debate, and the polling, within the Democratic field has been led by more progressive voices, some Democrats theorize that their best hope lies with appealing to more moderate voters in western Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
But Klobuchar has struggled in polls, both nationally and in Pennsylvania. An August poll from Franklin & Marshall College showed her with 0 percent support in the state, along with candidates that include Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan and self-help guru Marianne Williamson.
Pittsburgh has already hosted visits by Democrats including former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who subsequently withdrew from the race.