Locals watch as Buttigieg takes on fellow Democrats in debate

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The first half of the Democrats took the stage in Detroit Tuesday as they battle it out for their party's nomination.

In South Bend, a local nonpartisan group that calls itself the American Democracy Project held a watch party on the Indiana University South Bend campus.

"I think its really important for people to be able to get together, compare the candidates side by side and talk with other members in their community about what they're hearing," said Elizabeth Bennion, a professor of political science at IUSB.

16 News now spoke with some of the 20 people at the watch party for their take.

"I think Mayor Pete's hanging in there, but I think Amy Klobuchar is doing a great job. I like the guy from Montana a lot," Chessa Lutter said.

"So far I'm loving what Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are saying. I'm very for the Democratic Socialist view, but I also love Pete Buttigieg. I think he's an amazing speaker, and he shows so much compassion," Taylor Jump said.

"I think the health care issue is a really important one for me, so I'm glad they led with that so we could have a really good idea of what everyone's opinions are," George Murphy said.

Bennion gave her take on what she saw Tuesday night.

"There's a big debate between those who are the front runners right now on this stage, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who say it's not time for spinelessness, it's time for bold and big ideas," she said.

Some of the other candidates have a different approach.

"We need to be pragmatic, we need to be grounded in reality. So, that seems to be a big divide," she added.

She also gave her thought's on Buttigieg and how he made his points Tuesday night.

"I think he's gotten those across regardless of what policy the folks are talking about, and so that's been interesting to see, hear him say on a couple different occasions that all this is theoretical unless we get rid of Donald Trump, and here's why you need to elect me as president to do that," she said.