Biden wins Minnesota after home state Sen. Klobuchar drops out, NBC News projects

The senator endorsed the former vice president at a rally in Texas.
Image: Sen.Amy Klobuchar Holds A Town Hall In New Hampshire
Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar speaks during a town hall at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Oct. 25, 2019.Scott Eisen / Getty Images file

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By Jane C. Timm

Joe Biden won Minnesota on Tuesday night, NBC News projected, a day after popular home state Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race and endorsed the former vice president.

Biden had won 37 percent of the vote with 43 percent in, while Bernie Sanders had 31 percent. Biden got at least 10 of the state's 75 delegates, and Sanders collected seven.

Klobuchar was leading her home state's presidential primary contest, according to a Star Tribune/MPR News poll last month, and she was trailed by Sanders. Biden was polling in fourth in that survey, with just 8 percent of voters' support. Klobuchar's campaign said its internal polling saw Biden rising into third place in the weekend before the primary.

"We won Minnesota because of Amy Klobuchar," Biden said on Tuesday night.

Klobuchar endorsed Biden at a rally in Texas on Monday night: "I cannot think of a better way to end my campaign than by joining his."

The senator got to work for him in the final hours: she cut a radio ad and deployed her campaign volunteers and organizers across Minnesota to mobilize votes for Biden, spokesman Carlie Waibel tweeted on Tuesday night. The Biden campaign cut a television ad featuring Klobuchar's speech, too.

"Unity, y'all" Waibel added.

The senator remains extremely popular in Minnesota — 75 percent of the state's Democratic voters expressed a favorable opinion of her, according to the NBC News Exit poll on Super Tuesday — suggesting her endorsement may have had some pull there.

Following Klobuchar's endorsement, the Biden campaign announced that 35 key Minnesota local and statewide elected officials, community leaders and advocates had endorsed Biden. And Klobuchar emailed her supporters encouraging them to donate to Biden's campaign.

Still, many voters likely cast ballots for defunct candidates. There were 15 candidates on the Minnesota ballot, but 10 had already left the race. More than 57,000 primary ballots had already been accepted by election officials, according to the Minnesota secretary of state.

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Klobuchar enjoyed a late surge in the crowded Democratic primary, coming in a surprise third in New Hampshire. Still, she struggled with minority voters — earning 0 percent of black voters in the South Carolina primary, according to the NBC News Exit poll.

"You want a candidate that not just builds a coalition of fired-up Democrats, which we've got, but also brings in independents, moderate Republicans. That's how we won back the House of Representatives, and that's what Joe Biden can do," Klobuchar said Tuesday morning in an interview with Savannah Guthrie on "TODAY."