The Unfiltered Thoughts of Voters Who’ve Switched Candidates

A window into how Democratic voters are thinking about their choice.

TOPSHOT - A supporter wears earrings with a picture of US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as people gather to hear him speak at a rally in the Venice Beach neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, December 21, 2019. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
A supporter wears earrings with a picture of Sen. Bernie Sanders as people gather to hear him speak at a rally in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 21, 2019. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

The 2020 Democratic primary has been highly volatile, with one candidate after another rising — Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg — and then falling, as Democratic primary voters, locked in on the singular task of ousting Donald Trump, bounced from one hopeful to the next. Over the course of the year, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden stayed relatively flat, each with their own stubborn base of support. In the final month before the caucus, people have continued to shift, with many who’d been skeptical of Sanders moving his direction, and Biden fading a bit in the polls.

Over the past week, I asked readers of my newsletter to write to me if they’ve switched allegiances throughout the primary. The newsletter is largely made up of people who subscribed to it between 2014 and 2017, with a huge spike during the heady resistance days after Trump’s election. It’s a pretty broad cross-section of progressive readers, roughly 135,000 in all, and, like all large email lists, it’s made up disproportionately of people over the age of 50 or 60. It is not, in other words, simply a hive of Sanders supporters, but over the year has popped with fans of Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Warren, and anyone else running in the primary. More than 100 people wrote back, and many of their responses — with typos fixed — are below.

This is by no means intended to be presented as a scientific sample or even to reflect any national trend. Instead, think of the notes as access to a focus group, or a window into how Democratic voters are thinking about their choice. The pattern that emerged most markedly in the responses, though, is around Sanders. For the past several years, it has been conventional wisdom that Sanders has “a ceiling” of support, above which he simply can’t go. But a significant number of the correspondents said that after previously supporting other candidates, they’re now shifting to Sanders, not because they’re necessarily thrilled by his candidacy, but because he has convinced them that he is indeed electable. That, or they want to align themselves with the energy behind him, even if they don’t understand it. There also seemed to be more openness to Mike Bloomberg’s candidacy than I would have expected. What follows are some of the responses. People who asked not to be named were granted the request, but all of the responses come from emails from newsletter readers, meaning that they can’t be frauds just posting for fun on social media.

Mike Bloomberg

Vicki, Denver, Colorado — from Warren to Cory Booker, now leaning Bloomberg

I started out strong for Elizabeth Warren, but was somewhat daunted by her plethora of  expensive “plans,” which were actually just ideas or proposals. Then I went for Cory Booker, who is from my home state of New Jersey, and seemed to have a strong rhetorical advantage, but I felt he didn’t convincingly articulate his strategies, and I didnt buy the “love” thing at all. Plus he asked for money as did Warren way too often. Getting it from the grassroots is a lovely idea until you are the grassroots and unsure of the candidate. Then I had a big Sanders epiphany but agree he is not sufficiently flexible and may not be able to beat Trump, plus I hate what I’m reading about his fascistic supporters. OK, you’re not going to like this, BUT I’m considering Bloomberg. So what if he’s buying it. One of his ads does more than an entire debate to put forth his ideas and squash Trump. And the money I save by not having to pay for his campaign can go to senatorial candidates like Andrew Romanoff, the progressive alternative to Cory Gardner in Colorado. Basically I want Adam Schiff! Sigh.

P.S. I realized after writing that I want an inspiring hero or heroine, which is not a convincing political stance. And I wish I’d contributed to Kamala Harris.

I’m considering Bloomberg. So what if he’s buying it. One of his ads does more than an entire debate to put forth his ideas and squash Trump. And the money I save by not having to pay for his campaign can go to senatorial candidates like Andrew Romanoff.

Anonymous man, 67, New Jersey — from Klobuchar or Warren to Bloomberg

I’m white, 67, living in a rather large township in NJ — very red here and throughout my county — though we did elect Andy Kim (mainly with votes from the other county in his district). I’m a retired lawyer.

I’ve liked several candidates throughout this campaigning season; some are gone. I’ve been most interested in Klobuchar and Warren. But I’ve recently started to feel Bloomberg would be the best candidate to win the Presidency. He won’t wilt under Trump’s fire (I don’t think Buttigieg or Sanders would either — I’m not as sure about Warren and Klobuchar) and I think he can destroy Trump in every meaningful debate topic. And he has an awful lot of money.

I would love Warren as President. She would move the Country left, but slowly, as I think she knows many people, including most Democrats, are not there yet. Sanders would be an ineffective, polarizing, one-term President. I believe to make the changes I would like to see in the US we need a two-term President and a Democratic Senate for at least 6 of those years. Sanders could crash and burn and take the Party down with him.

I consider myself Progressive leaning Socialist but I don’t see that as the way this Country will go anytime soon. So I’ll take a moderate Dem for now — for the rest of my lifetime — as long as he/she has a left-leaning program (pro renewable energy, pro “controlled” immigration, pro infrastructure rebuilding, pro strengthening of the EPA, pro choice etc.).

Anonymous woman — from Klobuchar to Bloomberg

Switching from Klobuchar to Bloomberg because I think he has a good record, plenty of money and the ability to win. They have already been using the socialist scare against Bernie. I’d like to see Bloomberg with either Klobuchar or Buttigieg as VP. I’m a female, Caucasian, well-educated senior citizen from northern VA in DCMetro area who follows news and is not an evangelical voter.

Pam, Western Pennsylvania — leaning Bloomberg

I was quickly warming to Amy Klobuchar till I started hearing about her very poor environmental record. She has supported delisting of the gray wolf and threw her support behind mining in very environmentally sensitive areas.  She has lost my primary support with these positions. I’m still very much undecided, but am now leaning towards Bloomberg. Bottom line is I will happily support whoever runs against Trump, but I prefer a more moderate candidate who may attract wavering Trump supporters. I think people in the center will have trouble voting for Sanders, and especially Warren. I’m from western PA, Trump country, and I think Warren will keep PA in the Trump column.

Anonymous man — supported Harris, now leaning Bloomberg

Perhaps writing this will help me sort out my preference(s). My wife and I are San Francisco residents since 1972; I’m a native Washingtonian (DC) before that…My parents were in the Arkansas concentration camps and my father before that in 2 others, including Manzanar. Despite that, they were patriotic. Three members of my and my wife’s families fought in the 442; another uncle in the MIS [Military Intelligence Service]. My dad tried to enlist in the MIS, too, except he’d just before nearly died from TB so was 4F. After the war, my parents moved to Washington, DC, where they began federal careers. I was also in the civil service as a civil rights manager and investigator for 19 years, until I got fed up.

We are retired and I at least am immersed in the impeachment drama. As a Democratic activist, I would support Sanders only in the last exigency as he is committed to the destruction of the Democratic party; hopefully he’d destroy the GOP first.

I’d first supported Kamala. We know and respect her, attended her very first campaign event. Too bad she seemed to blank out on explaining her issues in front of the camera. Also, hard for a criminal lawyer to get much traction in a leftist primary.

Buttigieg is too much like Obama: a little-tested amateur, smart but shallow. The only talents worthwhile are his military service (as nobody else has any at all), and running a tiny town mostly pretty well. The one minority group the town had, he couldn’t get along with.

Warren: I am pretty strong on her. I got pissed when she attacked Buttigieg for his wine country event here: she attacked a local industry we’re all proud of. Also, her attack on his management consulting seemed an act of desperation, akin to the glove incident in the OJ trial. But her life story is admirable, she learned good lessons, and her studies of economics of the poor and exploiters has put her in a uniquely good place to help. I believe [Thomas] Piketty’s conclusion that polities start out fairly egalitarian, but over time, the rich claw out a disgusting share of the wealth. Warren might slow or reverse this. I comprehend that a president must have and main control of both houses of Congress and support of the population to do what is necessary. Pelosi will stay Speaker as long as she is needed; I can’t say I know about Senate prospects or the national right-wing gerrymander of much of the red states.

I hope to see a lot more about Bloomberg (his ads are brilliant) and his ability to take a bigger share of support, otherwise, I’d stay with Warren.

I have little to say about that lady from Minnesota. The only time she evoked much excitement was when she was alleged to scream at her staff. Her best path to the White House: “Don’t I remind you of your favorite aunt?”

I’d take more interest in Yang — I bought his “longshot glasses” — but for his being a longer shot. He’s sharp, fun, positive, and admirable at one corner of the stage.

The billionaires are in a class apart. Steyer’s campaign is but a one-note solo symphony. I am unexpectedly attracted to Bloomberg: he has a depth of management experience comparable to the federal level (i.e., NYC), post-political humanitarian & community leadership, and a ton of cash even tRUMP seems to fear. Neither seem to have qualities that evoke warmth or hate, dontcha think?

So the California primary is in 5 weeks. I hope to see a lot more about Bloomberg (his ads are brilliant) and his ability to take a bigger share of support, otherwise, I’d stay with Warren.

I’m omitting someone…. Biden. I’ll never forgive him for his cowardly failure to lead the opposition to Thomas’ nomination (remember, I was a civil rights professional) — Not a good character trait for leader of the free world! He gets some points for helping Obama as VP to navigate Capitol Hill (tho they blew off Pelosi, and Obama lost interest in leadership after Turtle got intractable), though that seems to have ended after Pelosi got a version of health care passed that the Senate could sign.

Bernie Sanders

Anonymous man — from George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Trump to Warren to Sanders

I appreciate you soliciting letters from your readers. Journalists don’t do that enough these days. One of the things which keeps the GOP guys closer to their base is taking all those listener calls on talk radio. This is kind of like that.

I switched, in November, from Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders.

My background: I am a male in my late 40s. I was living in central Virginia for the 2012 and 2016 elections and I lived in Ohio for the 2004 and 2008 cycles.

I am not necessarily a typical progressive. I did support Bush in ‘04 and ‘08. I voted for Obama in both ‘08 and ‘12 but I thought he was an awful president and had a lot of sympathy towards the Tea Party movement. I campaigned for Sanders during the 2016 primaries but ended up voting for Trump in the general election.

So how did I go from supporting Bush to Sanders? Basically the difference in my thinking came when I moved from New York to the Toledo area in the late 2000s.  I saw firsthand how the industrial heartland was being hollowed out. How hardworking but laid off 50-year-old men with families were being forced to move in with their parents.  My brother lived in Pittsburgh and I, being too cheap to pay the toll on the Ohio turnpike, would cut through on state roads through towns like East Liverpool or Youngstown. I probably don’t need to tell you what these towns look like. The best analogy I can make is that they look like they’ve been through a war.

Part of the reason I voted for Barack Obama was that I was convinced of the need for serious change. But instead of change, Obama appointed [Timothy] Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury, bailed out the banks, paid the bankers their bonuses with taxpayer money, while he put the U.S. Auto industry into bankruptcy and fired most of their workers. His health care reform allowed drugmakers to raise prices 100x forcing Americans to pay for expensive plans with $10k deductibles that are essentially useless. His economic recovery plan, under Ben Bernanke, consisted of re-inflating the asset bubble, trickle down economics in action.

Obama’s comprehensive betrayal of working class people for corporate special interests was especially galling to me. And it made me realize that having corporate Democrats in charge is much worse for progressives than having Republicans in charge, because ruling corporate Dems essentially suppress progressive thinking and action as the Clintons and Obamas did for so many years. I was thoroughly disgusted by Barack Obama by 2012, and if he had been opposed by anyone other than Romney/Ryan I might have voted differently. But if there is anything worse than the corporate Democrats it’s the corporate Republicans.

But Trump broke away from donor based agenda of Romney and Ryan. He was progressive on things like trade and protecting social security. That is why, when Bernie failed in 2016, I voted for Trump.

The 2020 race: While I reject the corporatist Clinton/Obama ideology, it is nonetheless held by a broad swath of the Democrat base (after 30 years that’s only natural). We need a candidate who can speak to speak to them as well.

I was supporting Elizabeth Warren before because I thought she could be that candidate. Here is a progressive who can speak to centrists and establishment people and who can possibly make the case for populist policies more effectively than Sanders.

Unfortunately, when Warren was tested she came up wanting. I remember a debate in November when Buttigieg challenged her aggressively on Medicare for All. In the days after the media challenged her on it as well. This was her chance to make the case for Medicare for All. She could have pointed out how our system of employer based healthcare puts our companies at a competitive disadvantage and costs us jobs. She could have pointed out that moving towards national health care would actually save tons of money because our current system is so wasteful.

She didn’t do any of that. Instead she capitulated to the establishment talking points without firing a single shot. Her new health care plans is pretty much the same as Buttigieg now.

While people already know “the worst” about Bernie, Biden will have a lot of downside as the GOP “educates” voters about his record.

Warren just isn’t a fighter. There is something about her which is very weak. She panders at every opportunity. Whether it is promising to pay reparations on a black radio show or using her “pronouns” at an LGBTQ town hall. For months she said “I’m with Bernie” in her support for Medicare for All. Then, when challenged, she folded like a lawn chair. Nobody respects that.

Sanders, on the other hand, has been in lonely minority most of his political life, but events have vindicated most of his stances such as against NAFTA, GATT and other free trade deals. Nobody doubts his sincerity. Nobody doubts that he will fight for the middle class. Him and Biden poll the best against Trump in head-to-head matchups.

But while people already know “the worst” about Bernie, Biden will have a lot of downside as the GOP “educates” voters about his record. Meanwhile, the only real case they can make against Bernie is that “socialism never works” as if Bernie Sanders has anything to do with Josef Stalin. The fact is that “socialized medicine” works great in UK and rest of Europe and Canada etc — at least it works a lot better than our insane, dysfunctional system where we pay 3x more per capita than any other country but we have a lower life expectancy than Costa Rica and same as Cuba which both spend much, much less than we do.

I don’t agree with everything Bernie says, but after Obama’s betrayal I don’t trust another corporate Democrat to fight for us.

Nancy, Illinois — from Sanders to Warren to Klobuchar and back to Sanders

This has been my odyssey as a Democratic voter in the era of Trump:

In 2016 I supported Bernie Sanders and knocked doors for him in my home state of Illinois. At that time, I was a 62-year-old full-time writing instructor at a state college where Bernie made an appearance, and I loved the energy and enthusiasm I felt when I attended that rally — a small-scale version of the hope and optimism that charged the crowds when I’d attended rallies for Barack Obama in 2008. I voted — reluctantly — for Hillary Clinton after she won the nomination, though I had never really wanted to see another Clinton in the White House, any more than I wanted to see another Bush there. Still, I was physically sick when she lost to Trump. But I wasn’t surprised.

In my conversations with downstate Illinois voters while I was canvassing, it was pretty clear that many people who had voted for Obama in 2008 would not vote for Hillary, but they would have voted for Bernie. They told me if he lost the nomination, they intended to vote for Trump. These were not so-called “Bernie Bros.” These we’re middle- and working-class adults, some of them in a younger demographic, but most of them between  mid-30s and mid-60s, who felt Obama had abandoned them, and who believed Trump had the right idea about walling out immigrants. Some of those people are my neighbors. Some of them used to be my friends.

For a while I thought Kamala Harris might be the strongest woman candidate, but then she had her “deer in the headlights” moment during the debates, and she lost me.

At the start of the 2020 campaign I thought Bernie’s time had passed, despite my continued enthusiasm for his ability to pull the party to the left of center. So I became an Elizabeth Warren backer because I really, really wanted to see a woman elected president during my lifetime, particularly one who espoused many of the same political views as Bernie’s.

Too many things about Warren just didn’t click for me, though, and I kept wavering. It seemed to me that she was a better fit for the Senate than the White House. For a while I thought Kamala Harris might be the strongest woman candidate, but then she had her “deer in the headlights” moment during the debates, and she lost me. Then I considered that maybe the only way Democrats could actually win was to give in to pragmatism and centrism, so for a few weeks I leaned toward Amy Klobuchar. She sounded like a voice of reason for a while, but I just couldn’t stick with her, either. She is too white-bread party line even for this now-retired, 65-year-old Midwestern white woman. I don’t see any way she can have broad enough appeal to beat Donald Trump. So I have had to accept that 2020 won’t be the year of the woman, after all.

At this point, I’m almost as sick of mainstream Democratic politicians as I am of loathsome Republicans, so that leaves out Joe Biden, as well as Pete Buttigieg. He isn’t a career politician yet, but he’s got all the makings. And even if Andrew Yang, Tom Steyers and Michael Bloomberg are running as Democrats, I cannot bear the thought of another billionaire autocrat in the Oval Office. So I’ve come full-circle, back to my leftist roots, feelin’ the Bern again. And I intend to stick with him to the bitter end.

Shannon — from Warren to Sanders

I switched from Warren to Sanders after the Dem debate in which Biden shouted at Warren that her Medicare-for-All plan would cost $30 to $40 billion. I did not find her response compelling or encouraging. I became more concerned when it took her three weeks to present her plan to pay for Medicare-for-All. This is the (very intelligent) woman who has a Plan for Everything! She looked weak and unprepared and my heart sank. Of course, should Warren win the nomination, I would vote for her.

Jennifer — from Buttigieg to Warren to Sanders

I haven’t switched oh-so-recently, but I actually transitioned from Buttigieg to Warren (late spring as it became apparent how full of shit he was and I learned more about him; I had previously liked his generational change message) and then to Bernie as I decided Bernie was the most electable progressive and preferred his foreign policy. I’m currently donating to both Warren and Bernie, but will vote for Bernie in California unless he somehow crashes and burns between now and then (doubtful). I’m not sure whether or not either Warren or Bernie can achieve their domestic goals with Congress and the Supreme Court, and I think Warren will get swallowed by the foreign policy blob. But Bernie’s foreign policy is very much aligned with mine in terms of non-intervention and focus on diplomacy, so at least he’d be trustworthy on that.

Lesly — from Warren and Andrew Yang to Sanders

I am a 38-year-old unemployed single mother living in West by God Virginia. I have an 8-year-old boy, who has a rare disease called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, he has cerebral palsy, is autistic, and is legally blind. I have a 7-year-old boy who is severely autistic and nonverbal. I had worked two jobs and went to college. The father of my kids left, I didn’t have anyone to watch my kids. For me to have childcare for special needs is over $40 dollars an hour. After I graduated with a two-year degree, I couldn’t even make $11 dollars an hour. So, I had to stay home. Both of my boys receive SSI [Supplemental Security Income] checks, we have food stamps, Section 8, CHIPs [Child Health Insurance Program], and Medicaid. I am back in school working on my BS.

I have mostly ever lived in a bubble, under a rock as far as politics go. No cable, no social media. I was always proudly punk rock, anti-establishment, burn the shit to the ground. Since Trump has been president, I realized that he could actually kill my oldest son. There is no way I could afford the $5,000 dollar a month in medications, the doctors’ visits, surgeries and therapy he needs. Every year since Trump got elected things have gotten worse. I read an article about the Reagan purge, where people died waiting and being denied money and health insurance. I am sure that’s what Trump is trying to do. Let the brown, black, poor and disabled die. It’s just been nonstop fuckery.

I was always proudly punk rock, anti-establishment, burn the shit to the ground. Since Trump has been president, I realized that he could actually kill my oldest son.

For the first time ever, I am excited for an election. I hadn’t heard of any of these people when they announced they were running. I was excited for Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. I donated to both candidates. I thought wow! This is awesome, they are running on everything my kids need! Then their stories started to crack and neither of them were what they said they were. I’m not a doctor, but I am sure that the spirit of insurance isn’t going to help anyone. Elizabeth’s plans suck and she lies about the weirdest shit. Enter Bernie Sanders, he is every damn thing he says he is. The more I read and hear from him the more I love! I didn’t even know what being a progressive was or what a socialist was. Apparently, I am both. Maybe they are the same thing? The first time I voted was for Obama, I did so out of guilt from my mother. I got a jury summons after that and swore never to vote again. I am willing to get a jury summons for Bernie Sanders. And fight for someone I don’t know.

Brent — from Warren to Sanders

Going into this primary, I was excited about Warren’s campaign. I was a Sanders supporter in ’16 and was glad she was running, too, even if I was upset she did not endorse Bernie. Warren is a progressive senator and had a background I felt could make for a leader in the executive branch, with regard to domestic policy. I felt torn between them and found myself rooting for both.

However, as the primary has dragged on, I kept finding things about Warren’s campaign that made me pause. When Warren attempted to justify her M4A plan by showing how she wanted to pay for it, she showed vulnerability to pressure from the media and other politicians. Finally, what lost support from me was her moving to offer the same healthcare plan as Buttigieg and Biden, but saying she would pass a second bill. This “plan” for attempting to pass two massive bills revealed to me that her political savvy might not be as great as I believed. It was at that point I knew that I could only support Bernie Sanders. She was trying to run in a lane between centrists and the left, but this attempt to split the difference has failed to be inspiring.

Jason — from Warren to Sanders

I am switching from E. Warren to B. Sanders as he is the only Candidate who supports mandatory Medicare for all. My daughter, Grace, age 25, is a school teacher at a public school and has been covered by my University of Minnesota provided health insurance plan her whole life. When she turns 26, we will lose coverage on my plan and will have to purchase her own insurance through her school or on the Federal Health Insurance Exchange (MN sure in Minnesota). She makes $35K per year and paying for health insurance and her student loans will make her poor. At her age, I was able to purchase a car and home. I don’t see my daughter being able to purchase a car or home with her student loan debt and health insurance payments. Also, when I started at the U in 1988, I was able to cover my wife and two children for zero dollars out of pocket for health insurance and dental coverage. Today, the same coverage costs $4,994 per year, or $416 per month out of pocket, which reflects the out of control costs of healthcare.

I am 57 with a BA, work at the University of Minnesota as a Sr. Grant Administrator and live he St. Paul suburb of Woodbury, MN. Grace supports Bernie for Medicare for all and student loan forgiveness. [Published with Grace’s permission, as well.]

Anonymous, 50, South Dakota — from Warren to Sanders

First, I value and respect your work. I remember seeing you on Rachel Maddow’s show occasionally, back before it … changed.

To your question about switching primary candidates I support: I have supported Warren for years, and I still would. I think she communicates very effectively on financial issues especially. I also think we’re long overdue to have a woman as president (Eleanor Roosevelt should’ve been prez, for goodness’ sake).

However, I’m concerned by Warren’s tendency to walk back her statements and water down her ideas, such as with M4A. I think it shows questionable judgment and leadership, and sadly it plays into the sexist notion that a woman can’t be a strong leader. (I disagree with that view wholeheartedly, but I’m not naive to the sexism in our country.)

I prefer Bernie’s stands on most issues, and I think his progressive populism resonates far better with the general electorate, especially low-propensity voters who the Dems need to motivate. I’m also aware that Bernie has high negatives with certain groups of people: Corporate Dems, Dem party elite, and bitter Clintonistas. My wife isn’t any of those things, yet she dislikes Bernie. For that reason I don’t want to talk too strongly about supporting Bernie (and please don’t mention my name in any article). My wife supports Klobuchar, I presume partially because they are both attorneys and strong, accomplished women. I like a lot of things about Klobuchar, but I think she’d be a disaster both as a candidate and as president. A message of Austerity Lite would be a horrifically bad one in this environment (as though 2016 didn’t prove that). (For the record, a Dem friend of ours in Minnesota dislikes Klobuchar because she wouldn’t unequivocally state that she’d never use nuclear weapons in a first strike. He’s a progressive college friend who designs batteries for pacemakers at Medtronic in The Cities.)

Of course my vote won’t matter anyway. We live in South Dakota, and our primary is so late and our votes so few that it doesn’t matter. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; like the southern states earlier in the primary, our Dem electorate tends to skew conservative in who they choose, preferring the “safe” choice like Hillary and Biden — which again would be poison in the general election.)

So to sum up, I started with Warren as my first choice, though I now strongly lean Bernie first, even if I won’t admit it publicly yet. But I’d happily vote for either of them.

If it helps your demographics, I’m a 50-year-old guy who grew up on a farm in SD and graduated from a poor rural school (long since closed) in a class of 16 students. And I also think Janitor and Maintenance Man are interchangeable (our guy was also the Custodian).

Sande, 59, San Francisco — from Warren to Sanders

I’m a progressive, 59-year-old woman and a weaver in San Francisco who had to retire early because of a disability, so Social Security Disability Insurance is my security. I voted for Bernie in 2016 after seeing him in Oakland and SF and I even got out once to volunteer for him. His policies are my policies and I love his integrity, he’s inspirational.

But then this year, Elizabeth Warren got in the race and I have loved her ideas since Jon Stewart’s Daily Show. I had wished she was the woman running last time instead of Clinton. Her policies and plans are so much more progressive. She’s got a vitality that is impressive and seems to connect well with people.

So when she and Bernie were both running this time, I was torn. I sent them both donations, because I wanted to see them both in the race, sharing a small wealth of progressive ideas for the first time in my voting lifetime. Maybe I was blithely ignorant, though I’d heard the complaints about her wobbling on M4A, etc., I was willing to think it was just the usual backlash to a progressive candidate.

But what she did in coordination with CNN (and her new Clinton campaign folks) to unconvincingly smear her friend Bernie as a sexist who didn’t believe a woman could win was actually painful to me. I felt sad and confused for days thinking maybe she didn’t say it herself and she was just being used. But then when she doubled down and didn’t deny it, I got angry.

Well, that was much more than I’d planned to write, but it was cathartic to express it so fully.

When I saw the debate and realized she seemed to be fully coordinated with CNN in attacking Sanders, I knew my loyalties are completely with Bernie. So at least she helped me make up my mind. Now I can’t trust her or even listen to her right now. I feel like she stabbed me in the back, too.

Her fragile handclutching seemed so weak in that post debate, hot mic handshake rejection while trying to get Bernie to say something regrettable himself.  And I’m a sensitive woman, imagine what Trump would do to her if she is so easily offended.

I get upset when women use the real experience of sexism for a slight that seems so inauthentic and manipulative. I know it’s a campaign, but if that’s how you publicly treat your friends in what generously seems like a misunderstanding, where is the “unity” in that party?

Since then, I’ve been devoted to once again supporting and helping Sanders ride the wild waves of attack on him from the mainstream establishment and their media. It feels so intuitive at this point, I can see the waves coming and I’m happily in it for the long haul.

Well, that was much more than I’d planned to write, but it was cathartic to express it so fully. Hopefully by the March 3rd California primary and the July convention and finally in November we still have free and fair elections. Our Revolution vs. the 21st Century Sun King.

Paul — from Warren to Sanders

I’ve always had my eye on the most populist candidates. I felt that Sanders and Warren were those candidates. The others claim to be populists but they clearly aren’t. I was leaning heavily towards Warren with Sanders as number 2 but with Sanders surge I’ll switch to him. But I could always go back and forth. What I clearly want most is that the most populous candidate or the second most populous candidate to be the nominee. So the jump from Warren to Sanders for the time being.

Janet — from Warren to Sanders

I started off leaning toward Warren, but then I heard an interview on the Majority Report that compared the foreign policy of Warren and Sanders based on an article in the Jacobin and also noted their responses to the coup against Evo Morales after watching The Intercept’s interview with Morales (really great), and the choice became very clear for me as someone interested in alter-globalization and the World Social Forum rather than US dominance. I still can’t find any presidential candidate to really agitate for Palestinians’ right of return but Sanders is the closest.

I still can’t find any presidential candidate to really agitate for Palestinians’ right of return but Sanders is the closest.

Demographic information: I am a 50-year-old woman (as of yesterday’s birthday) from Washington state currently living in Hawai’i. I just earned a PhD in English and am looking for an assistant professor position either in the USA or overseas. I also support Medicare for All as the most sensible and most efficient solution to health care costs and access problems. Also, I just recently had breast cancer. I will totally survive it based on early detection, but I think of all of the people who could die from the same thing because they don’t have healthcare coverage. That is unacceptable.

Teresa — from Warren to Sanders

I have switched from Warren to Sanders. Midwesterner Mom with 2 kids. I work in energy. I switched because it seems that the military and rich get all the breaks. I watch my non-college-educated family members struggle and feel for them. They take bad jobs that stress them out and they don’t take care of their health. That leads to more money issues. Bernie has plans that would directly benefit them. I would love the see the choices that they could make with insurance for all and free education.

Also, I have come to realize that Citizens United and the tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations are creating a system where those who pay little into it have high influence over it. That just isn’t fair.

One last item that I am deeply concerned and ashamed to admit is I fear that a woman cannot win. With the last election and the Me Too movement and other causes, it seems to me that women have a longer way to go. And I don’t trust women to vote for women.

Joan, 86, North Carolina — from Warren to Sanders

I am 86 years old, female, retired Clinical Psychologist, living in NC. In December I switched from Warren to Sanders. I like both of them on policy issues. But I think Sanders has the greater aggressiveness and charisma to take the fight to Trump and win.

Anastasia — from Warren to Yang to Tulsi Gabbard to Sanders

I want to start with an admission or two. I belong to one of the largest “voting” groups in the United States. The ones that don’t vote. I grew up with parents that consistently said, “Vote for who you dislike the least.” I have not been able to bring myself to do even that.

My second admission is that I belong to one of the most complacent generations in, well, a very long time. Generation X. We have done very little to progress this country for the future. (Aside of course the wonderful achievements of the internet. Though that wasn’t even a private enterprise to begin with. Oh well.)

I slid slowly off Yang’s gangwagon.

I am happy to say that I am “mad as hell” and now have skin in the game. I have donated to various candidates just for the fact that the conversations needed to be had. I didn’t want just one Dem with an agenda. I felt it was important that diverse voices be heard.

That being said, I do wish I could have some of my money back!

I jumped off Warren’s bandwagon back when I found out she “visited” with Hillary. That was a deal breaker. I should have done it sooner….

I slid slowly off Yang’s gangwagon, first when I realized that he wasn’t supporting one of my very important policies (though he continues to use the phrase). I really bailed when he said “people should have skin in the game.” That’s just pisses me off.

Tulsi, bless her. I really love the non-war, don’t butt in, but don’t be blind view. Absolutely with her on that. But…. She broke from my very important issue as well.

So. Here I am. All in with Bernie. Have been since 2015. And he has not wavered. Has not washed when he should have wished. I, for the first time in my adult life, have hope. And it’s painful. And frightening. And energizing. And I dare dream of a future. For myself. For my children.

I tell my 10-year-old: “Pay attention. He is a once in a lifetime. You will, in all likelihood, never see another politician with this much integrity. And honesty. And foresight. And the will to serve the people.”

(Amazing how far we have come as a nation. Too bad it’s taken us this long to catch up to Bernie 30, 40, 50 years ago!)

Josh, 21, Oregon — Warren to Sanders

I’m a 21-year-old guy from Oregon, currently in college in New York state. I’m casually part of the TYT audience. If I could have voted in the 2016 primary it would have been for Bernie. I voted for Hillary in the general election.

For 2020, I initially supported Elizabeth Warren. I thought she was a strong progressive who was in better position at the time than Bernie. Bernie was my #2.

Since the fall, I’ve noticed that Bernie has come out really strong, with other progressives like AOC endorsing him. He’s no longer being just cantankerous quite as much, and he’s really convinced me that he’s the strongest candidate right now. He’s as authentic as it gets, and Trump has never had any blow land against him. I’ve given Bernie some small dollars. I never gave to Warren, wanting to hold out until closer to voting season.

Brandon, 71 — leaning Sanders

Trump is such a train wreck for our democracy that I favor any Democrat except Tulsi. I used to be almost evenly split between Bernie and Warren, slightly favoring Warren, but Warren’s claim that Sanders doesn’t think a woman can be president, which flies in the face of anything Bernie has ever said, has knocked her down a notch. Bernie Sanders is the man this country desperately needs to bring back a more just, moral and ethical world. Elizabeth Warren is my strong, number-two choice, a good pick for VP. Joe Biden is past his expiration date, out of touch with where we must go, still clinging onto the corporate-democrat mantel that is only slightly less corrupt than the Republican version. I am 71 years young, planning on living many more years, and believe in mankind’s’ future if we can muster the will to do the hard things we all know must be done. Climate change demands swift, strong action, income-inequality must be greatly lessened, and the ability to vote, to be free, and to speak out in a civil manner must be protected in the face of autocratic, communist, and oligarchical repression.

Carolyn — leaning Sanders

I can’t say definitively that I switched but I made my decision in the past few days. I am definitely voting for Bernie Sanders. The support he is receiving from young voters (younger than me as a baby boomer) was the tipping point for me. We owe it to them; they “hear” him. I do too but was concerned about his age. I figure if they aren’t concerned than why should I be.

The support [Sanders] is receiving from young voters (younger than me as a baby boomer) was the tipping point for me. We owe it to them; they “hear” him.

Elizabeth Warren

Susan Dexter, 74, Williamsburg, Virginia — from Biden to Warren

I am a lifelong Democrat and would describe myself as moderate. I do think Medicare for All is best for our future but I do think it must be done incrementally for multiple reasons. It is rarely discussed that there is an entire healthcare billing and administrative industry that would become unemployed. I love Biden but I wish he had not run as I had wished Hillary would not have. I fervently hope Bernie doesn’t win the primary — number one being he is not a Democrat and is a cranky old man like the one in the White House. I live in Virginia and will probably vote for Warren. I like her and Klobuchar and Buttigieg the best in that order. We will see what happens. At age 74, I need to keep calm and view this year philosophically, but I do think our nation is at risk.

Schremmer — from Sanders to Warren

I supported Sanders in 2016 and I think we still owe him a lot because he started it all. I switched to Warren as soon as she said she was running because she is a doer and this ex-union organizer (60 some years ago, though) likes what she does. I still have the Sanders sticker on my truck and now I also have a Warren sticker.

I still have the Sanders sticker on my truck and now I also have a Warren sticker.

Anita — from Sanders to Warren

I was supporting Bernie Sanders but I am now supporting Elizabeth Warren. Here is why, besides the fact that she has the temperament, the right positions on the issues I care about and has the ability to connect with people. I think it is time that a woman’s lived experience is represented in the highest office in the land. A woman’s lived experience is different from a man’s and will result in better outcomes and a more humane society, as Barack Obama said. Not just any woman, but this woman. We represent more than half the population of the USA. The poorest people in America are women. The greatest number of people making minimum wage are women. White supremacy and misogyny are intertwined. We need to defeat them both. Elizabeth Warren will make the best president. The NYT endorsed her. The Des Moines Register endorsed her. She is my only choice for president.

Timothy, Virginia — from Sanders to Warren

As early as 2014-15, I wanted Warren. But she said “No”, and I could swear I read somewhere that “No means No”. So in 2016 I switched to Sanders, and stayed there until the math became impossible. At that point, I went to Clinton, knocking literally hundreds of doors and contributing more than I responsibly could. After The Catastrophe, lo and behold, Warren agrees to run this time.

I’ve been a Warren supporter all along, of course, but now I’ve “switched back” to her. Why do I support her? Well, she commits the unpardonable sin of actually Knowing Things, knowing Who’s Screwing Whom Over, and knowing what to do about it. Yeah, she’s old, but not as old as Bernie or me.

Attached is a photo of the bumper-stickers currently on my car. Interestingly, I haven’t had any reaction at all from white men, old or young. But I’ve had a lot of reaction (all of it favorable) from women and black men.


A photograph of bumper stickers, sent by Timothy.

Photo: Courtesy

Eric — from undecided to Warren

While I appreciate Bernie’s ethics and positions, I think he’s unelectable. He’s 78 and just had a heart attack, he’s a socialist, and he’s Jewish—all count strongly against him in a country that has moved so far to the right.

Any of the nominees would be far superior to Trump, but a moderate like Biden would be so disappointing! So, as of now, I’m going with Warren — smart, progressive, and much more electable than Bernie. I’m upset she’s backing away from single payer, but if she talks up a strong public option for a while, in order to improve her chances, that’s o.k. with me.

I’m upset [Warren’s] backing away from single payer, but if she talks up a strong public option for a while, in order to improve her chances, that’s o.k. with me.

Nancy Jacobs — from undecided to Warren

I was on the fence — Bernie or Elizabeth — but now it’s Elizabeth because I think she’s healthier, and can bring more people to the table. However I will vote for any one who gets the nomination. I live in NC, 72, female, retired educator, currently volunteering helping immigrants get citizenship. My husband is a Bloomberg fan. He’s 92.

Kathi, 68, New Jersey — from undecided to Warren

I am 68 years old, a lifelong Democrat. I was born in Brooklyn; grew up on Long Island, lived for a few years in Manhattan and now reside in western New Jersey.

I realized in the late 80s that this country was starting to go off the rails. The Republicans had allied themselves with Evangelical Christians, they later repealed the Fairness Doctrine, FOX “News” came into being and, if you were a Republican, lying was perfectly OK if it got you the results to which you thought you were entitled.

My husband and I voted for Barack Obama twice. He was not our first choice, and I feared that, because he was known to be a great conciliator, that strength would work only if all parties were willing to come to the table. We all found out very quickly that the Republicans, led by the inestimable Mitch McConnell, had no problem not coming to the table or playing fair. And we all realized that, with a great percentage of the population following FOX, the Republicans could basically do and say anything they wanted, because FOX was there to tell the people it was all good. And the Democrats were bad.

The country was astounded when Mitch McConnell refused to hold hearings on Merrick Garland. But nothing came of it. And nothing came of it when Republican operatives made robocalls informing voters of incorrect voting dates and times and locations and when polling places were closed or moved and voter registration lists were purged. We were playing a game with no referees on the field.

My husband and I voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary. I had become aware of Bernie some years before he declared himself as a candidate. I found him and his message exciting. He was of, by and for the people. (Probably close to ten years ago I wrote him in Vermont and sent him a check; he sent me back a handwritten thank you.) Bernie was the first candidate who had answers to real problems. He didn’t speak in platitudes. He knew that the minimum wage was a joke; he knew that the proposed minimum wage was nowhere close to a living wage. He knew about people’s fears about healthcare and about keeping their heads above water. His message resonated loudly across the country, enough that it moved Hillary considerably left.

As much as I thought that Hillary Clinton was wise and knowledgeable, I was fabulously irritated by her wishywashyness; by her attempts to appease everyone, which appeased no one. Hillary Clinton was that middle-of-the-road, don’t-rock-the-boat candidate. To be fair, she did win the popular vote (and my husband and I did vote for her), but she allowed a con artist, a huckster and a liar to outplay her all year long. His message rang out louder and more exciting than did hers.

In the last several years I’ve become increasingly aware of two issues — (1) FOX is now a propaganda machine. They back the president’s storyline (or maybe I should say that he backs theirs); a huge percentage of the country is absolutely brainwashed into believing what they hear on FOX and they disbelieve what they don’t hear on FOX. I’ve had several people tell me to my face that if only I would listen to FOX, I would understand what is really happening in this country. They alone speak the truth in the wilderness. Wow. I don’t see how we, as a nation, can ever get back to having a civil discourse if we can’t agree on which reality is real.  And the Republicans are fully aware of the huge safety net that FOX gives them. That’s why they’re hedging their bets on not calling witnesses and absolving Trump, because FOX will tell enough people that that was the right answer, and the Democrats just have their noses out of joint from the 2016 election.

We MUST get our message out and we MUST take back the Senate. If we don’t it doesn’t matter who wins the Presidency.

The second issue is that people in this country are really unhappy. The one percenters are doing just fine in their oligarchy. The upper middle class is doing okay, and they’re the ones desperately trying to not rock the boat. But all the people just treading water, or drowning; all the people who used to have good union jobs, who lived in booming cities — they need someone to blame. They’re not informed enough to know who they should be angry at, but, since the Republicans have mastered the art of the spin, they’re blaming Democrats for failing them and their cities. And the Democrats have just been afraid to take a populist stand, to really call out who or what failed these people; to come up with a really good solution to solving their economic and healthcare issues.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are impressive figures. Bernie has driven the Democratic narrative for the last several years  Elizabeth Warren is an amazing policy wonk who has done her homework and really does have an answer for everything. I would vote for either of them, probably for Elizabeth Warren first, since she can expound on more topics. But I would trust either of them to listen to the right advisors and tweak whatever theories need tweaking, and I would trust them to speak at town hall meetings across the country and get their messages out.

We MUST get our message out and we MUST take back the Senate. If we don’t it doesn’t matter who wins the Presidency; our country has a cancer in all three branches of government, and the wealthy few are continuing to collect their gold, at the expense of everyone else. I’m not sure we can survive the rollbacks of the Clean Waters Act and rollbacks on the environment and wildlife.

One last point. I’ve about had it with all the pundits who think they’re predicting our future, even though they haven’t actually called anything right lately. It does seem that they, and the other talking heads on FOX, on CNN, on MSNBC are not following the news. They’re making it.

I think this is where I’m supposed to say “God bless us, and God bless the United States of America.”

Amy Klobuchar

Anonymous woman, 73, Missouri — from Warren to Klobuchar

I was very on the fence and then thinking about Warren. I am now switching to Klobuchar as the best person to walk that fine line and draw the greatest support were she to be nominated. I cannot understand anyone supporting Bernie as someone who could win. He simply cannot in my opinion.

I am 73, long time liberal, living in suburban St. Louis and I am a consultant in the education sector.

Ann, 67 — from Buttigieg to Warren to Klobuchar

I am 67 years old, reading & replying (I never do things like this) from Florida — I’m  blessed with the health & finances that I can afford 6 weeks down south in the winter. I fit the stereotype for a progressive woman of my age who grew up always a Democrat, and is pretty much financially secure.

I think it’s very important Trump does not win or serve a 2nd term, so I want our Democrat candidate to be able to beat him. Yet I do not understand most voters, let alone people who do not vote. Hence, I cannot base my choice on who I think can beat Trump. You never know — he might not be running.

I was 1st most excited by Pete Buttigieg: intelligent, unsullied, military experience, his youth. However, I began to think he is too untested & needs to develop a more charismatic persona. David Brooks described him as an older [white] person’s idea of a young person’s president, even though he is not gaining any traction with youth or the black community.

Then came Elizabeth Warren: great presence, wonderful speaker. Strong legislative and financial credentials. She is a woman. However, I do not support Medicare for all. I am on Medicare, and there is much I do not like about the care and the rules. I was spoiled by 45 years of private health insurance. I like Medicare or a government option, for those who want or need it. And Warren sounds too repetitive. I don’t like that she appears to have blind-sided Sanders about what he did or did not say.

I think I will be voting in the New Hampshire primary for Amy Klobuchar.  NYT endorsement, pretty much sums up why I had moved to Amy. And, she is a woman & I support women candidates.

In 2016, I was wishing Mike Bloomberg would run. I think he would be a good president:  Great experience & generally good results. 77 is too old & he is too rich. That said, I still think he could do the job well.

My top 3 choices: Amy, Elizabeth, Mike.

Why not:

Sanders: too angry & I perceive as self-centered and too old
Biden: too sullied — by his past experience & now by Trump, too old, no new ideas.

Pam — from undecided to Klobuchar

I have always been a Liberal Progressive Democrat, though as I have become older I find I am a little more conservative about some things, though not most.  My mother came from a family of Republicans, and became a Democrat in college, where she met my father, who was a Democrat, from his mother, although his father was definitely the kind known as a “Dixiecrat” back in those days….

I would have voted for Joe Biden in the 2016 primary had he run. I voted for Hillary Clinton for both the primary and the general. I have voted for a Republican now and then when I felt that person was better. In 2008 I absolutely insisted I would never vote for a Republican again after listening to Boehner and McConnell ranting about never cooperating with Obama (of course I voted for him). If that wasn’t racism, I certainly don’t know what is. It simply infuriated me. I did rescind that attitude a little because it became apparent that not all Republicans agreed with them, but I haven’t anyway.  When Trump got the Republican nomination in 2016, I felt a cold chill go down my back. I even began telling people that, having watched the way he acted and his hate for anyone who didn’t agree fully with him, if he got elected we were asking for a police state in a few years, and it would be a huge loss for all of us. And I still believe it will happen if he gets re-elected. And I really did TRY to see something good in him during that first year, as my Republican friends (yes, I do have a few) would try to convince me he was just bluster and wasn’t that bad. Well, he IS that bad! I tried. I failed and I really fear for the United States. And I am not a person who knew much about him before he ran. I mean, I had heard of him and some of his activities, but I really never paid that much attention. It was only during the debate farce that I realized how dangerous he could be. And he is VERY DANGEROUS. Every day he seems to do something that hurts everyone, including a lot of people who should but don’t seem to understand what is happening.

I find I am having a little “wealthy prejudice,” which is probably not fair (I do realize that not all rich people are Republicans), but I seem to have a problem there and I am trying to work on it.

I have never been overly fond of Bernie Sanders, and I have trouble figuring out why.  I think he is a little overboard on Medicare for All, and he just seems to be much more to the left than I am, even though most people think I am really too far left. I didn’t care for him in 2016, and still don’t. I have been disappointed in Joe Biden, and I am not sure if it is age (I hope not since I am the same age), or if he has been that way for a while.  He seems to get confused a little too much, and I worry that he could not keep up with everything. And that is a lot more this time than ever before with all the damage that has been done so far by Trump. I like Elizabeth Warren, always have, but she too seems a little more to the left than I am willing to go. I did like Julian Castro, but I got turned off quickly when he lost it on stage talking to Joe Biden the way he did, which, even if it had been true, was unacceptable to me as a response. I do like Cory Booker, but he is gone now too. I like Mayor Pete, but I don’t think he has enough experience yet. He might be good as a running mate, though. My very favorite is Amy Klobuchar, who I think is really the candidate closest to my own views. Art likes Mike Bloomberg, and I do too, but I find I am having a little “wealthy prejudice,” which is probably not fair (I do realize that not all rich people are Republicans), but I seem to have a problem there and I am trying to work on it. I admit his ideas sound good. I was disappointed in some of the others during the debates as well, particularly the candidates of color, since I was hoping that at least one of them would get a fair chance. At this point, I am not willing to guess who will get the Democratic nomination, but I am still hopeful that perhaps we can at least have a pair that will “cover” all the bases (okay, that’s probably not likely), like gender and color.  If we at least get a pair that are not 2 white men, I will probably be able to accept that.

When it comes to race problems, the one thing with which I still have a problem with my own attitude, is white privilege. I didn’t even realize for many years that I benefited from that, and I try never to act that way to anyone. But it still bothers me that I went a very long time without realizing this, even though I always thought I was a fair person, but I am not that sure anymore.

Well, I am going to call it quits now. I can’t believe I stayed up this late doing this [email sent at 3:02 a.m. EST]. I hope I didn’t bore you too much.

Tom Steyer

Lincoln — from Warren to Steyer

I have switched from Warren to Steyer, because I want to keep his voice on climate action in front of the public.


Sherri, California

I’m a white voter from Los Angeles who works in the accounting department of an animal rights organization.

I voted Bernie in 2016, and was leaning towards Warren this time around.  Just recently I’m wavering though, and digging on Bernie again. However, I’ve come to like Andrew Yang and Klobuchar, and wonder if Klobuchar would be the most sensible choice.  Policy-wise, I fit with Bernie and Warren.

I’ve never been this undecided, and it’s because I feel very unsafe with the current administration occupying the White House.

Carlos, California

I’m a confused progressive I think. I’m first generation born in US; my parents came from Mexico legally in the late 50’s/early 60’s. It was much easier then of course. I spent many summers in Mexico. I love Latin America overall. I wanna vote Democrat but I’m not a socialist. My parents were Kennedy Democrats and I believe in the conservative progressive ideals — is that an oxymoron? I don’t believe in open borders; my parents especially don’t; my extended family certainty doesn’t either. They worked for everything they got. I don’t watch Fox or CNN I see what’s around me. I live in Southern Cali and I know so many Latinos that oppose open borders and willy nilly asylum passes. They moved from Latin America for a reason. All I can say is this: if the Democrats don’t get tough on immigration real fast they will lose to Trump again guaranteed. He won’t be removed from office, we all know that. Your polls can tell you whatever you want them to, just like in 2016, when trump didn’t even believe he was gonna win. I still remember his face — he was probably the most surprised person that night. Our democracy works: people will say one thing but turn around and do the complete opposite. Trump is terrible for the environment, for the working class, for the poor, for the middle class, for foreign policy. He’s basically a traitor, he has no ethics or morals. I’m afraid that our chance of getting rid of him will be lost because of an extreme leftist agenda and a foolish open borders policy. Four more years of Trump and his judicial appointees for what? Some illiterate peasants that don’t give two shits about the US? Why? Why!

All I can say is this: if the Democrats don’t get tough on immigration real fast they will lose to Trump again guaranteed.

Brianna, 37, North Carolina

I am 37, just left California for North Carolina. I am a moderate that regularly splits the ticket. I read both sides out of interest. I don’t think Bernie Sanders will ever win, he has no chance with moderates and he is too old. If Dems want to win this they have to win the moderates. I’m hoping for a Buttigieg/Klovechar (I can’t remember her last name or how to spell it) ticket.

Virginia, 60

I was never planning on voting for Biden. I was curious about Buttigeig, but what I have learned leaves me opposed to him. I considered Kamala Harris, but she’s no longer in the running. I like Yang, but I don’t think he has a real chance, so I’m considering Sanders and Warren.

Christine, Pennsylvania

As to this election, I am truly conflicted as to whom I am going to vote for in the primary. In 2016, I was a huge Bernie Sanders, and of course I did vote for Hillary, because how could you not when faced with the impending doom of a Trump presidency, which has sadly come to be far worse than my even my wildest imagination.

Early on in the debate process, I was an Elizabeth Warren fan (and may still vote for her). However, I am sad to say that I am one of those women who fear asking this misogynistic country to vote for a woman for president may be too much to ask. And you can’t deny the power of Bernie’s message. My husband and I went to hear Bernie when he spoke the last day at the controversial closing of Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia. Bernie speaks to the heart of people.

All I do know for certain is that I will vote for whoever is the Democratic candidate for president. Of course a progressive platform is what I want, but my main goal for 2020 is beating Trump. Winning back the Senate would be icing on the cake. I am living with a rare form of ALS called PLS, primary lateral sclerosis and I care deeply about healthcare and Social Security and Medicare. Between ALS advocacy and politics, I sometimes feel like I am on a hamster wheel. [If the vote were held today] I think I’d go with Sanders. But, but, but … that being said, in my opinion, there MUST be a woman on the ticket. Women and minorities are going to power the election.

Annabelle, 77, Oregon

I am retired and 77 years old. I’ve been a progressive all my voting life. I was born and raised in the S.F. Bay area, lived in Carmel Valley when it was still farming country, N.Cal, Mexico, and B.C. Canada for shorter periods and now Portland.

I was a Bernie fan before most people outside of New England knew his name. But this election has me torn. I really relate to Elizabeth Warren too. I like her softer manner. I love her “plans”! It is so refreshing to find a candidate who will commit to actions, not that Bernie doesn’t.

For my taste, Bernie harangues a bit too much. I’d like to see him adopt a softer manner sometimes, but know that one can’t soften the stark reality of the homeless, etc. But I just read that his Green New Deal plan is the best of the bunch. So here I am still torn in the middle. I want to vote for the one who will win — AND the one who will do the most to save the planet.


I go back and forth between Warren and Sanders. It would be less than honest to say that “electability” plays no role in my thinking, but it’s not the primary consideration, which is difficult given the stakes. I’ve been wanting to thank you and Mehdi, though, for tweeting that clip of Elizabeth when she learned she had won the endorsement of the Iowa Register. The Twitter backlash from Bernie supporters was so disturbing.  You must be used to that sort of behavior, but I use only Twitter for social media and that just a few minutes a day at most.

Michael-leonard, California

in 2016, i told everyone i could that i really wanted to see a head-to-head of Bernie and Donnie — a real progressive populist against a wanna-be repressive reactionary.  alas, as we now know, the DNC decreed it was not to be. ah, history.

four years on, i am not am sure i want Sanders as the Dem candidate.  i still like his issues, politics and – especially – his attitude, but i am haunted by the fear that he is too old to physically do the job. instead, i think i’d like to see his distaff doppelganger, Elizabeth Warren, in the White House. simply because she’s younger. but i am still not completely sure.

we know from last time that YES! a woman CAN win the popular vote, so that is not a valid reason to say no to her. i will probably still vote for Sanders in March based on the old saw that you vote your conscience in the primary. in November, of course, i will vote for the Democratic candidate.

like Bernie, i am non-religious, of Ashkenazi decent, and was reared in B’klyn NY.  born in 1946, i now live in San Diego, CA.

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