Why this Colorado Democrat is supporting Joe Biden, despite the sexual assault accusations

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'He's not some monster who said 'grab them by the p***y. Donald Trump is a monster with way more allegations'

World | The Independent

Polarized is a weekly series featuring Americans from all 50 states sharing their views on the 2020 elections. Click here if you would like to be a part of this project

Ann-Casey Hughes likes to know what she’s talking about.

The 25-year-old was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama — a “liberal in the south,” as she describes herself, who was “always asked to defend what I believe.”

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A Democrat now based in Boulder, Colorado, the young voter says she is paying close attention to the 2020 presidential campaign despite her life having been upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Hughes was a waitress at a newly opened restaurant in Boulder before much of the country was forced to undergo various forms of stay-at-home orders. She says she worked for about a week at the restaurant before it closed to the public, leaving her without a job.

Fortunately for her, she was able to start working this week in a (temporarily remote) research position at Colorado State University. Hughes, who is passionate about climate activism, among other key issues, says she will likely be working on climate modeling, though her exact research project currently remains unclear.

(Photo courtesy Ann-Casey Hughes)

Also unclear is the fate of the 2020 election — one of the most crucial presidential elections in American history, arriving in the midst of a global viral outbreak.

“It brings me anxiety to think about it,” Hughes says about the upcoming vote.

But Hughes doesn’t have to worry about choosing a candidate, as she says the choice has effectively already been made for her.

A former volunteer for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, Hughes says she will be voting for former Vice President Joe Biden come November.

“I was a huge Warren fan, I’m still a huge Warren fan, but I’m definitely going to be voting for Joe Biden,” she says, adding: “I have mixed feelings on that.”

Don’t get her wrong — Hughes says she doesn’t mind Biden as a politician. However, he isn’t her top choice for the Democratic nomination. Still, she says “as a Democrat, I think we should rally behind him and take the man down.”

That man being Donald Trump — a man Hughes calls a “monster” compared to the former vice president. But perhaps her biggest issue with Biden is the way he has handled sexual assault allegations from former Senate staffer Tara Reade, saying he needs to do a better job of addressing them “head-on.”

“My issue with him is that he wasn’t addressing the sexual assault allegations. I think in this day in age it’s toxic to not address something like that right upfront,” Hughes says. We spoke just after learning that Biden would address the allegations the following morning on MSNBC.

In an interview with Morning Joe, the presumptive nominee claimed the allegations were baseless and called for the National Archives to release any documentation about a possible complaint Reade said she filed against Biden.

“He’s got to take it head-on, if you don’t speak about it and give some validation to her, or he’s going to lose votes from the women he needs to win,” Hughes said.

Click here to read more of The Independent's series, Polarized: Voices From Across America

“He's not some monster who said ‘grab them by the p***y. He’s not that guy,” she added. “Donald Trump is a monster with way more allegations, and we know at least the majority of them are true.” The president denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

When it comes to the policies, Hughes says that Biden has “easily the most progressive presidential platform out of any Democratic nominee in history,” citing progressive measures Biden adopted into his campaign following announcements from Warren and Bernie Sanders that they would no longer seek the nomination.

Hughes says she appreciates the former vice president’s attempts to woo progressive voters, saying: “He’s done what he had to do, at least for me. I know there are some others who don’t necessarily agree.”

Having been raised in a solid red state, Hughes says it's especially important for her to know all the facts behind what motivates her politics. And while she appreciates the former vice president’s virtual updates about the pandemic and policy proposals the campaign has been promoting in recent weeks, she fears he’s being “drowned out” by Trump’s briefings and an inability to campaign.

“I do have this fear it’s going to negatively impact him since he’s not having those major unity rallies with former candidates, and these Zoom calls just don’t have the same effect,” she says. “There’s nobody there to be hooting and hollering ... it lacks that intense, call-to-action aspect.”

On the other hand, she says the pandemic — and Trump’s seemingly slow response to the outbreak — may in fact hurt the incumbent president far more than his opponent.

“Number 45 has really been screwing it up out there, talking crazy, and I think that might be hurting him enough that it helps Joe Biden,” she says. “We are in the middle of a crisis and he looks like a damn fool.”

“I think moderates and even centrist Republicans are becoming frustrated and are willing to potentially go another way,” she concludes. “They want someone who can potentially provide some presence and comfort.”

  • Why this Colorado Democrat is supporting Joe Biden, despite the sexual assault accusations photo


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