CNN focus group rejects Biden

A CNN focus group comprised of Democratic voters has rejected former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Lessons from the 1999 U.S. military intervention in Kosovo Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll MORE as their presidential nominee.

The focus group's dismissal of Biden is notable since the former vice president, who is expected to join the Democratic primary soon, has been leading a number of public opinion polls and is seen as the potential front-runner. 

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The Democrats gathered by CNN, however, said they weren't interested in Biden. Some said they wanted a candidate who was further to the left.

“I think we need a bold, strong leadership, and you’ll find that in the progressives," Democratic voter Carol Evans said.

“We had the standard-bearer for the kind of pragmatic centrist candidate in Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense MORE in 2016 and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' MORE is now president. He is not your average political candidate, so we really need to try to think outside the box because, you know, it seems like the dude is made of rubber. Anything you throw at him just bounces off, there’s nothing that sticks," said focus group member Michael Milisits.

Several progressives, including Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll O'Rourke tests whether do-it-yourself campaign can work on 2020 stage MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll Omar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC MORE (D-Mass.), have entered the race.  

The focus group was moderated by "New Day" co-anchor Alisyn Camerota at CNN's New York City bureau.

When she asked if any of the focus group members would like Biden to enter the race, none of the six people raised their hands.

“His time is done," Evans said.

“I will be honest. He was riding the Obama wave and I thought he was a person that would unite the party, but to be honest, Sen. Biden really comes from kind of the good old boy politics of the past," Democrat Russel Banks said.

“I don’t think Joe Biden represents that new thing that we need. We need a new economy, we need new politics and we need someone different," Democrat Owen Evans added.

Biden currently leads most early polls over the other 13 declared candidates in the field, with political pollsters citing name recognition as the primary reason due to his long tenure in the Senate and eight years as President Obama's vice president.

CNN has made the 2020 campaign one of its top priorities and has already featured several candidates in prime-time town hall events, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Top Dem: 'Certainly a possibility' that Congress will call Barr, Mueller to testify publicly Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWhy do so many Democrats embrace hate speech? Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll Omar controversies shadow Dems at AIPAC MORE (D-Minn.) and Sanders, as well as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is considering an independent run for president.

The network is set to host a town hall this Sunday night with three more Democratic presidential hopefuls — former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyFive things to watch as AIPAC conference kicks off Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements MORE (Md.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Harris's stepkids call her 'Momala' Chicago mayor race mirrors national push for more women in office, says columnist MORE (Hawaii) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — at the South by Southwest conference in Texas.

The event will be moderated by "The Lead" host Jake Tapper and CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash in Austin, Texas.