Poll: Most primary voters in battleground states prefer moderate Democratic nominee

Poll: Most primary voters in battleground states prefer moderate Democratic nominee
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A majority of Democratic voters in key states for the 2020 presidential election prefer a moderate candidate who would work with Republican lawmakers instead of a candidate who would fight for a “bold progressive agenda,” according to a new poll.

Democratic primary voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida largely said they want a more moderate presidential nominee, the New York Times–Siena College poll found.

More than 6 in 10 primary voters across the states, 62 percent, said they would prefer a candidate who would promise to find common ground with Republicans, as opposed to one who would fight for a progressive agenda.

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A majority of respondents, 55 percent, said they would rather the 2020 nominee be more moderate than most Democrats, while 39 percent argued the nominee should be more liberal.

Voters were more split on how the nominee should impact the nation’s capital, with 49 percent saying the candidate should promise to bring politics in Washington "back to normal" and 45 percent saying they should bring “fundamental, systematic change to American society.”

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHaiti prime minister warns inequality will cause migration to continue Pelosi: House must pass 3 major pieces of spending legislation this week Erdoğan says Turkey plans to buy another Russian defense system MORE led in five of the six battleground states included in the survey.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenIn Washington, the road almost never taken Senate poised to battle over Biden's pick of big bank critic Treasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions MORE (D-Mass) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (I-Vt.) were also among the front-runners, with Warren holding a slight lead over Biden and Sanders in Wisconsin, though her advantage was within the margin of error.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegDOJ sues to block JetBlue-American Airlines partnership On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership MORE (D) received 5 percent support in several states, though no other 2020 Democratic candidate received more than 3 percent support in any of the six states.

Trump carried all six of the states in the 2016 presidential election.

Voters were nearly dead-split in how they described their own ideology, with 49 percent saying they are moderate or conservative Democrats, while 48 percent said they are very liberal or somewhat liberal.

For months, Biden, the current front-runner among all of the 2020 Democratic candidates, has sought to cast himself as the more moderate leader over Warren and Sanders, who have advocated more progressive platforms.

The Times noted that while more moderate voters preferred Biden in the survey released Friday, the more progressive respondents were almost evenly divided between Warren and Sanders.

The survey was also affected by race and age. Older Democratic voters of color and those without college degrees supported Biden. Younger Democrats of all racial backgrounds preferred Warren and Sanders. Those with college degrees also preferred Warren, according to the poll.

Among black voters in the six states, Biden remained the overwhelming favorite with 42 percent support, compared to 13 percent for Warren and 10 percent for Sanders.

The Times–Siena poll surveyed 1,568 Democratic primary voters in the six states from Oct. 13 to 26. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.