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Democratic voters from Michigan weigh in on 2020 field ahead of CNN debate

Posted at 7:37 AM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 09:37:31-04

A group of six Michigan voters are wrestling with what kind of Democratic candidate they believe can take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Five Democrats and one independent voter, some of whom worked on Democratic campaigns, sat down with CNN on “New Day” to size up the Democratic field ahead of CNN’s Democratic presidential debates in Detroit Tuesday and Wednesday night. The panel exemplifies the struggle among Democrats as to whether their nominee should be moderate or more progressive, practical or bold, in their desire to beat Trump in 2020.

Edith Suttles likes former Vice President Joe Biden so far, because she believes he’s “competent politically” and “solid in foreign relations.” Another voter, Ryan Corker, said his top candidate is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren because he feels she “cares about ordinary people.”

“I love so many of them. It’s almost like an embarrassment of riches because we’ve got so many of them,” Terree O’Neil Darling told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. She added that while she respects Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, “I feel like we need something besides an old white guy.”

“I think that what the country needs now and probably for the next few decades is somebody who can right the ship because the waters are going to get stormier, they’re going to get choppier. And the idea of simply replacing one person who’s rocking the boat with a person who’s going to rock the boat on the other side is probably not wise at this time,” Saeed Khan, who supports Biden, told CNN.

David Sanchez, who is leaning toward Julián Castro, argued that a lot of Democrats support Biden “thinking that because he’s moderate that he’ll appeal to most people.”

“But I think we’ve seen from the Republican Party that someone who wasn’t moderate, someone who was very far right changing things, trying to change the country, I think to battle against that we need someone very far left and really supports radical change,” he argued.

Out of the six, only one voter said she was optimistic that a Democrat could win the presidency in 2020.

A new Quinnipiac poll, released Monday, shows Biden leading with 34% support, Warren with 15%, California Sen. Kamala Harris with 12%, Sanders at 11%, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6%. An Ohio Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed Biden as the only leading Democratic candidate to top Trump in a matchup, leading the Republican incumbent by 50% to 42%.