Sen. Amy Klobuchar might prove to be the most important Democratic presidential candidate when all is said and done in Iowa next week — even if she doesn't win the state's caucus.
That's because many Iowa voters appear to be split among moderate candidates like Klobuchar, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Vice President Joe Biden, which The New York Times reports is at least playing a role in the rise of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). If those moderate voters want to prevent Sanders from getting a head start toward the nomination with an Iowa victory, per The Times, rallying around one of the other candidates seems like a good place to start.
Klobuchar is doing pretty well in Iowa, but she's lagging behind Buttigieg and Biden, so her supporters are seen as having the most potential to make a switch, especially because of the caucus' multiphase process. If Klobuchar struggles to pick up the votes she needs early on, those backing her could theoretically shift to a stronger candidate and help push someone like Biden to victory.
It sounds like some in the Biden camp are aware of this. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who's thrown his weight behind the Biden campaign, thinks Biden can appeal to Klobuchar's crowd since both politicians frame themselves as pragmatists, and well, as he puts it, "Joe is going to need a running mate." Read more at The New York Times.