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New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar

A New Hampshire state lawmaker has announced he is switching his support from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in the Democratic presidential primary race, arguing that Klobuchar is more “electable” than Warren across the country.

Democratic State Rep. Michael Pedersen told NBC News that his support had been shifting over the past couple weeks and that it solidified for Klobuchar after Tuesday night’s debate in Iowa, amid a growing feud between Warren and fellow progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“After the debate, I saw everybody pairing up — Sen. Warren and Sanders competition against one another, and then everyone else. I just think those two as a team, Sanders and Warren, they don’t appeal widely across the nation as Sen. Klobuchar,” Pedersen told NBC. 

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He said that while he likes both Warren and Klobuchar and is friendly with staff on both campaigns, he views Klobuchar as having broader appeal across the country.

“I think that Sen. Klobuchar is more electable across the country than Sen. Warren,” Pedersen said. “She has a proven track record of winning in Trump country. And Sen. Warren has a proven track record of winning in liberal northeast.”

Klobuchar has touted her ability to win state-wide office in Minnesota, even in districts that have traditionally elected Republicans, in arguing she is best positioned to take on President Trump.

In 2016, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton carried Minnesota over Trump by a slim margin.

In addition to Pedersen, Klobuchar also picked up an endorsement from New Hampshire state Rep. Linn Opderbecke (D), who previously supported Sen. Cory Booker (D) before the New Jersey senator ended his campaign earlier this week.

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“Amy showed on the debate stage that she’s someone who tells the truth and has people’s backs,” Opderbecke said in a statement to NBC. “That is the leadership we need to take on Donald Trump. Amy will not only beat Trump, but also will secure victories up and down the ballot. I’m proud to support her campaign for president.”

A spokesperson for the Klobuchar campaign was not immediately available for comment. 

The new endorsements come as Klobuchar looks to gain support in New Hampshire less than a month away from the Feb. 11 primary. The Granite State is the second state in the presidential nominating contest after the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.

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