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Voting for the second-choice candidate: Mid-Michigan residents weigh in

March 10, 2020
“I Voted” stickers at Hannah Community Center on Nov. 5, 2019.
“I Voted” stickers at Hannah Community Center on Nov. 5, 2019. —
Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

As Michigan gets ready for the primary elections on Tuesday, Democratic voters across Mid-Michigan are quick to move on and vote for their second choice after their favorite candidates dropped out of the race. 

English senior Johnny Mocny was initially supporting Andrew Yang for the democratic nomination because he thought Yang had a lot of great new ideas. Now, he will be voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders, his second-favorite candidate.

“As (a Yang) supporter, I support (Sanders) now because I think they both have an understanding that Donald Trump isn’t the root of all the problems but the symptom,” Mocny said. “And by just electing somebody who returns us to normalcy, I think that would just lead to another Trump.”

Mocny said he expects many students will be voting for Sanders. Mocny is expecting a good turnout for Sanders in the area due to East Lansing being a college town.

“Between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, I think Bernie Sanders is clearly the better choice," Mocny said. "I think it’s important to choose candidates based on policies and not personality or name-recognition. And I know that’s what most people do. I think that’s why Joe Biden has made as far as he has because people remember him as Obama’s VP.”

Jackson resident James Warner said he will not be voting on Tuesday, March 10. Warner initially supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren because he felt she was one of the few candidates that were attempting to see the LGBTQ community instead of using it as a talking point until former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg showed up.

“It wasn’t just the token 'hey, here's queer guy in the campaign,' it was that a lot of his thoughtful policies resonated ...” Warner, who identifies as a cisgender homosexual male, said “We had a decent pool of potential candidates. Now I’m really disappointed that it has come down to two old white men.”

Warner said he believes the Democratic voters are all on the same team, and it’s important to remember to unify.

“I’m going to support whoever’s on the ticket,” Warner said. “I just can’t in my conscience vote for either one of them. ... It’s a miasma taking the oxygen out of the room and looking at sort of the political cannibalism between the supporters of Sen. Sanders and people who support (Biden).”

Lois Ann Woltjer from Dorr Township said Sen. Amy Klobuchar was her first choice because of Klobuchar’s policy on the Affordable Care Act, emphasizing on the preexisting conditions.

“I sent my absentee ballot over the weekend and I voted for Joe Biden,” Woltjer said. “I voted for (Biden) because I trust him and I know that he is not going to do anything radical … He cares about America. I think he’ll make a good president.”

East Lansing resident, Carrie Sampson switched her preference from Buttigieg to Biden after Buttigieg suspended his campaign. 

“I’m fully supportive of him (Biden) now,” Sampson said. “I guess I would’ve preferred a younger candidate but he does have a lot of experience and he was endorsed by Pete Buttigieg, among others.”

According to Simpson, the polling looks to be in Biden’s favor but Sampson said she is still nervous. She also talked about the importance of voting.

“I think it’s a really important right that we have to be able to vote, and everyone should go out there and do that. It’s the time and make their voice heard, whoever they’re going to vote for,” Sampson said.

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