Decision 2020

With Bernie in Front, Moderate Dems Grapple With How to Vote in November

NBCUniversal, Inc.

When Bernie Sanders blew away the competition in the Nevada caucuses, a new headline emerged — Sanders could be unstoppable.

That leads to another question: If it comes down to Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump, who do you go with?

"I'd have to go with Bernie, although I'd be unhappy with that choice," said Susan Glazer of Needham.

It's a growing dilemma among moderates of both parties who have long preached "Never Trump," but who also feel strongly that Sanders' gruff persona, socialist policies and call for political revolution are not the best way to beat Trump or unite the country.

"First, I'd have to control my gag response," said Nancy Katz of Brookline. "And then I guess I'd go with Bernie."

Katz plans to vote for Pete Buttigieg on Super Tuesday.

"I pray the moderates get it together and figure this out," she said.

Former Massachusetts Republican Party Chair Gene Hartigan is open to a fiscally moderate Democrat like Buttigieg or Amy Klobuchar.

"I could vote for them, yes," he said.

But if it's Sanders?

"I hold my nose and I vote for Donald Trump," said Hartigan.

Former Cambridge City Counselor Nadeem Mazen says he feels the same way -- except about Joe Biden or Mike Bloomberg. He says Sanders is the only candidate that brings the kind of excitement and grassroots organization required to beat Trump.

"And I think that because of the polling numbers, I think that because of his appeal to working families, younger Americans, the broad coalition of multi generational and multi racial voters," Mazen said.

As for the term "socialism," Mazen says it means nothing more than an investment into working class families — providing help with health care, child care and education.

"And the majority of Americans want those things, whatever you call them," he said.

Moderates are now looking to a candidate like Biden to break Sanders' winning streak in South Carolina and hoping that Sanders' lead after Super Tuesday isn't too big to overcome.

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