San Francisco undecided voters say Nevada debate helps narrow choices

California voters are coming down to decision day with the Democratic March 3rd primary less than two weeks away and eight candidates still in the race for the presidential nomination. 

Wednesday night, a big crowd turned out for the debate watch party at Manny's Restaurant in San Francisco's Mission District.

Many people said they are still trying to sort out who they like among the six Democratic candidates who were on stage and wanted to see billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first face-off. 

"I think I actually came into the debate very open-minded. I was interested to see what Bloomberg had to say," said Elizabeth Dooley of San Francisco.

"I came in thinking I liked Bloomberg. There was a lot of positive things about him," said Claudia Villena, another San Francisco voter.

Both women said they felt Bloomberg did not have strong answers. At times, Bloomberg faltered when challenged on issues of racial profiling by law enforcement during his term as New York mayor and previous allegations against him of sexual misconduct.

"He did not do well, he kind of stumbled, people went hard after him, he didn't have comebacks, so I'm actually back to Warren," said Villena, "I think she did the best." 

Some felt the Nevada debate stopped Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's downward slide over the past few weeks, with low support in Iowa and New Hampshire contests.

"When she faded my support switched to Bernie, but Warren is really making a comeback tonight," said Eddie Jen, a former San Francisco Warren supporter.

"I wasn't sure. I was thinking whoever would defeat Bernie and Bloomberg. And I think that's Warren after this debate," said Barak Gila, an undecided voter in San Francisco. 

Some people said the debate did give them a better sense of some candidates. 

"I'm undecided at this point, but I was very impressed with Mayor Pete's performance. He's very articulate. He knows who the president of Mexico is for example, he knows the policy. I do worry a little bit about his electability," said Ash Hussain of San Francisco.

Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters said they felt the Vermont Democratic socialist had a strong showing and unwavering vision for the country and Democratic party.

"I'm an independent, my whole life, I turned to Democrat in order to support Sanders in 2015 but it's a reset in 2020, it's a totally different election," said Sean Murphy, an independent voter in San Francisco. 

When asked to name the top three choices after Wednesday debate, Murphy said, "I would say Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar." 

"Bernie and Warren are my top two and my top three fluctuates between those two and Buttigieg or Klobuchar," said Phillip Dupree of San Francisco.

Some said they liked former Vice-President Joe Biden's strong defense of his record and Obamacare, but had concerns about some stumbles and his electability.

For many, the biggest concern is whether the Democratic party eventually can unite across such differences in policy and personality.

"They must unite the party so that we can beat Donald Trump in November," said Horace Thomas, who says he is supporter of San Francisco billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, who did not qualify for the Nevada debate.

"My worry is that if they all destroy each other that's going to be ammunition for the general election. I wish that we can see their differences and then they can stop attacking each other," said Romail Dhaddey, an undecided voter and San Francisco native living in Houston.