The debates, in which there was almost unanimous embraces by the top-polling candidates for decriminalizing illegal border crossings and for offering undocumented immigrants health insurance, excited many in the Democratic base. But the debates also raised questions about whether the Democratic candidates were entering terrain that would be perilous in a general election.
The state party's Hall of Fame dinner on Sunday will give voters in Iowa, where the nominating contest kicks off in February, an early chance to compare the contenders and test the organizational power of still-forming campaign teams.
In the Senate, Klobuchar has cultivated a worker-bee persona, not leading on divisive issues like immigration and focusing instead on curbing the cost of prescription drugs, addressing sexual harassment and protecting online privacy.
Trump worked to escalate the showdown Friday, reissuing threats to close the US-Mexico border to pressure Congress to fund the wall and to shut off aid to three Central American countries from which many migrants have fled.