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 BidenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Watergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Deal on defense bill proves elusive | Hill, Holmes offer damaging testimony | Trump vows to block Navy from ousting officer from SEALs MORE led in five of the six battleground states included in the survey.

Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Warren speech in Georgia interrupted by pro-charter school protesters Hillicon Valley: Senators ask Trump to halt Huawei licenses | Warren criticizes Zuckerberg over secret dinner with Trump | Senior DHS cyber official to leave | Dems offer bill on Libra oversight MORE (D-Mass) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersKamala Harris receives new Iowa endorsements after debate performance Wasserman Schultz makes bid for House Appropriations Committee gavel Overnight Health Care: Crunch time for Congress on surprise medical bills | CDC confirms 47 vaping-related deaths | Massachusetts passes flavored tobacco, vaping products ban 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 ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegButtigieg campaign field organizers unionize Harris: Buttigieg comparing 'struggles' between black, LGBTQ communities is 'a bit naive' Poll: Trump edges Biden, trails Sanders in neck and neck match-ups 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.