A CNN focus group comprised of Democratic voters has rejected former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race On The Money: Democrats get to the hard part Health Care — GOP attorneys general warn of legal battle over Biden's vaccine mandate 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.
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 ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book MORE in 2016 and Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race 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 SandersBernie SandersBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Sanders 'disappointed' in House panel's vote on drug prices Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenFederal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review Manchin keeps Washington guessing on what he wants Warren, Daines introduce bill honoring 13 killed in Kabul attack 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.
Alisyn Camerota asked a panel of six Democrats, "How many of you would like to see Joe Biden get in? Show of hands."— New Day (@NewDay) March 5, 2019
No one raised their hands.
"His time is done," said one panelist. https://t.co/WlCE8xj0mJ pic.twitter.com/e55IFCYF8b
“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 HarrisStefanik in ad says Democrats want 'permanent election insurrection' Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHarris, CBC put weight behind activist-led National Black Voter Day Seven takeaways from California's recall election Live coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate 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 DelaneyDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Lobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis MORE (Md.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardProgressives breathe sigh of relief after Afghan withdrawal Hillicon Valley: US has made progress on cyber but more needed, report says | Democrat urges changes for 'problematic' crypto language in infrastructure bill | Facebook may be forced to unwind Giphy acquisition YouTube rival Rumble strikes deals with Tulsi Gabbard, Glenn Greenwald MORE (Hawaii) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegLGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg Pete and Chasten Buttigieg welcome twins Coalition urges Democrats to restore billion in transit funding MORE — 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.