Voters at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Sound Off

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DES MOINES, Iowa - What's the biggest difference between Hillary Clinton supporters and Bernie Sanders supporters?

"They're a lot more quiet," said Yvonne Fielder, a Clinton supporter at the Iowa Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner Saturday night.

But while Clinton supporters have their thoughts on that question, Bernie Sanders supporters are just as opinionated.

"I really like that Bernie isn't funded by multi-million dollar companies, and I just believe his values more than Hillary supporters do [hers]," said Haley Wilcox, a Sanders fan.

At an event like Saturday night's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, it's hard to find Democrats who haven't made their minds up yet; most people packed into the Hy-Vee Hall room were sitting in either a Clinton, Sanders, or Martin O'Malley bleacher section, ready to cheer their favorite on. But there were some voters who came out to the event hoping to come to a decision on who to support come caucus time. One of those is Iowa State University graduate student, Jessica Padilla, who says she's searching for a candidate who is serious about Latino issues.

"Because I feel like everyone's putting up a front, especially because everyone wants the vote," she said. "I think being able to see who has the genuine care for the Latino population across the country [will determine my vote.] They are being more aware that our vote counts, and so they really need to provide stances - not just promises."

Sanders' poll numbers are no doubt higher than anyone expected them to be when he entered the race, but his supporters say, even if he doesn't win the party's nomination, that doesn't mean they'll rally behind Clinton.

"Probably, but...I don't know, I'd have to think about it a little bit more," said Jenna Conn, a Sanders supporter.

While O'Malley is polling lowest among the three candidates left in the race - around two percent - his supporters argue he's a more progressive option in contrast to Clinton, and still more electable  compared to Sanders. But when it comes to noise generated in the room Saturday night, Kimberly Roberts, an avid Clinton fan since the 2008 election cycle, says her corner has what it takes to put their favorite in the lead come February 3.

"Hillary Clinton supporters, as you can see tonight, they're all up, they're all cheering for her, we're all ready for her," she said. "While you look over to the other side, Bernie Sanders people are just sitting down, not even caring about it. You can see that all of us are fighting for her, all of us want her to be on, all of us want her to be back in office. We fought once, we're going to fight again, and we're not going to get knocked down this time."

The candidates will again share the stage at Drake University next month for the second Democratic presidential debate, scheduled for November 14.


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