Many Independents Say Democratic Party Going Too Far Left

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks as South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg listens during the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN on Tuesday at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(CN) – The day after Democratic presidential candidates duked it out over the future of the party in the second round of debates, a poll released Wednesday shows nearly half of independent voters think the Democratic Party leans too far to the left.

The Hill-HarrisX poll showed that 48% of independent voters say Democrats have moved too far to the left. Twenty percent of Democrats polled agreed, while 68% of Republicans felt the same way.

Pollsters asked 1,002 registered voters Monday and Tuesday for their opinions. The results have a margin of error of 3.1%.

A third of independents, meanwhile, think the Republican party is moving too far to the right, as do 58% of Democrats and 18% of Republicans.

Both parties seek approval from independent voters, who have the power to shift the election in their favor.

The fracture between the Democratic party’s more moderate and progressive wings was on full display Tuesday night during the first night of primary debates in Detroit, Michigan.

During a heated debate on the future of health insurance, Mayor Peter Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, argued that it was time to stop worrying about what Republicans will say about Democratic policies.

“Look, if it’s true that if we embrace a far-left agenda they’re going to say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists,” Buttigieg said. “If we embrace a conservative agenda, you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to say we’re a bunch of crazy socialists.”

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who support “Medicare For All,” faced attacks from centrist opponents like former Representative John Delaney.

“If you start underpaying all the health care providers, you’re going to create a two-tier market where wealthy people buy their health care with cash,” Delaney said Tuesday.

Warren accused Delaney on the stage of not bringing any new ideas to the party.

“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” Warren said.

Candidates are again expected to split from one another Wednesday in the second night of debates on more controversial issues like health care as former Vice President Joe Biden, the current front-runner, takes the stage.

Biden wants to preserve and build upon popular Obamacare provisions like protections for pre-existing conditions.

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