We’re still eight months away from the Iowa caucus, so a lot can happen between now and January. But so far, Sen. Amy Klobuchar is struggling to gain traction in a crowded Democratic presidential field. In a poll conducted by Monmouth University, Klobuchar polled below 5 percent in support among likely Iowa voters.
Former Vice President Joe Biden leads a field of 24 announced and potential Democratic candidates with 27 percent support, followed by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders with 16 percent. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg came in third with 9 percent, followed by Sens. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren at 7 percent and Rep. Beto O’Rourke at 6 percent.
Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand joined Klobuchar in polling below 5 percent.
• Hagedorn’s hot dish. U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn participated this week in his first Minnesota Congressional Delegation Hot Dish Competition.
The first-term GOP congressman called his concoction “Make’n Bacon Great Again Hot Dish” in a nod to his district’s status as the second-largest hog producer in the country. Made of cheese, tater tots and pork, Make’n Bacon Great Again contained 2 pounds of bacon and half a pound of pork sausage.
“Eating bacon supports our southern Minnesota farmers and agribusinesses,” Hagedorn said. “And that’s Congressional Pork we can all get behind.”
Rep. Bettty McCollum took top honors with her “Hotdish A-Hmong Friends after a blind taste test.
• Smith’s bill seeks to reduce cost of insulin. U.S. Tina Smith introduced a bill focused on bringing lower-cost insulin to market.
Her bill, co-authored by GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, seeks to drive down the cost of insulin by getting generic insulin products to market faster and increasing competition. The bill would codify a new pathway for the life-saving drug to come to market
“High insulin prices are jeopardizing the financial security of Minnesotans and Americans, and forcing some into alarming, and at times fatal, rationing,” Smith said. “For the millions of people in the United States who rely on insulin, the medication is not a choice; it’s a matter of survival.”
• Chamber legislative preview. With six weeks to go before the end of the legislative session in St. Paul, it’s getting down to crunch time. The stakes will be discussed and debated by area legislators at a breakfast forum hosted by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is set for April 19 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Rochester Golf and Country Club, 3100 Country Club Road SW. Registration is required and costs $25.