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Majority of Democrats want candidate who will unite the country, CBS News poll analysis finds

Amid a crowded field of 2020 presidential candidates vying to be the Democratic nominee, CBS News surveyed Democrats nationwide to gauge what characteristics are important to them in a Democratic candidate.

Most Democratic voters have a desire for someone who is hopeful about the future of the county and will try to unify it. But the most liberal Democratic voters differ from the party overall in some of their candidate priorities.

By margins of more than two to one, Democrats are looking for someone who will unite the country, rather than push for more liberal policies. They also overwhelmingly prefer a candidate who expresses a hopeful tone about the potential of the country (82 percent), instead of anger about the state of it (18 percent).


There is more division about the approach a Democratic presidential candidate should take toward Republicans. Fifty-four percent want someone who will work with Republicans to get things done, while 46 percent prefer a candidate who will fight Republicans to stop their agenda.


But Democrats who identify as "very liberal" (about a third of Democrats and Democratic leaners) have a different opinion:  More than six in 10 of them are looking for someone will fight the Republican agenda. 


These Democrats also prefer a candidate who will push for more liberal policies (57 percent) than someone who will try to unite the country (43 percent). 


Democrats across the ideological spectrum prefer someone who will inspire those in their party to come out and vote, rather than a candidate who would appeal to independents. 


On a more policy related question, a majority of Democrats say they want a candidate who will focus more on economic equality (71 percent) than on racial equality (29 percent) , when asked to choose between the two.

African American Democrats are twice as likely as white Democrats to prefer someone who will focus more on racial equality, although more than half of black Democrats want a candidate who will focus more on economic equality.  


The CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,210 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between April 22-26, 2019. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote and registration status. Respondents were selected from YouGov's opt-in panel to be representative of all U.S. registered voters. The margin of error is 2.4 percent.

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