Joe Biden hopes to take a big step toward the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday when six states cast votes, while Bernie Sanders aims for an upset win in Michigan that would keep his White House hopes alive.
The Democratic presidential primary is down to just two candidates, and on Tuesday, six U.S. states will hold nominating contests that could signal whether the front-runner, Joe Biden, has a dominant lead, or if rival Bernie Sanders can keep his White House hopes alive.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOE BIDEN, SAYING: "Michigan, I'm counting on you in a big way." The biggest prize is Michigan.
Last night, Joe Biden took the stage in Detroit alongside two one-time rivals, who touted the former vice president as the best choice for the party.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR CORY BOOKER, SAYING: "There is one man now who is ready to go to the center of the arena, who is our best shot to beat Donald Trump." Democratic senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California both championed Biden's cause.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR KAMALA HARRIS, SAYING: "And Joe Biden is on the ballot in 2020." Biden leapfrogged over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in last week's contests, winning a swath of states and knocking out a slew of primary challengers.
And a Biden win in Michigan on Tuesday could block Sanders's path to the nomination.
Most polls show Biden with a comfortable lead here.
But they showed a similar lead for candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, and that time Sanders pulled out a narrow victory.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BERNIE SANDERS, SAYING: "So let us go forward on Tuesday.
Let's win here in Michigan." Sanders is again aiming for an upset here, one that may be critical to his campaign.
He's stressed Biden's past support for trade deals blamed for the loss of manufacturing jobs.
And support for the self-proclaimed democratic socialist - particularly among younger voters - was on display at a rally in Ann Arbor on Monday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER JOANNE KEELING, SAYING: "I believe that Bernie is the one who will best represent my children.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BERNIE SANDERS SUPPORTER ASIYAH AYUBBI, SAYING: "I'm a big supporter of what he is saying and fighting for." But that might not be enough.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) STERLING HEIGHTS MAYOR MICHAEL TAYLOR, SAYING: "Bernie Sanders's support is very strong amongst about a third of the democratic voters.
But I don't think he's got the crossover appeal." Michael Taylor is the mayor of Sterling Heights, outside Detroit, and supports Biden.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) STERLING HEIGHTS MAYOR MICHAEL TAYLOR, SAYING: "He's much more appealing to moderates like myself." Ultimately, many undecided voters, such as Cathy Sieglo, may want a nominee they feel can defeat Republican President Donald Trump.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNDECIDED DEMOCRATIC VOTER CATHY SIELO, SAYING: "I want to vote for who's going to win.
[flash] We have to oust this current president." And that sentiment may determine what happens Tuesday.