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Weary Democratic voters balk at new presidential candidates

The number of Democrats running for president is growing as Election Day approaches. And on the ground in the states that matter most this primary season, voters have a clear message: Stop.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick launched a surprise bid last week and New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg may do the same in the coming days.

The late entries, less than 80 days before voting begins, have exposed a fresh divide in the Democratic Party.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., waves during a presidential forum at the California Democratic Party's convention Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP PhotoChris Carlson)

On one side are anxious establishment leaders who are concerned about the direction of the race and welcome new candidates. On the other are voters and local officials across early voting states who are satisfied with their existing options.

The satisfied voters are yelling the loudest, but the fresh faces are not giving in.

FILE - In a Monday, Nov. 4, 2019 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a town hall meeting at Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa. Warren pushed back against critics of her newly-released plan to phase in implementation of a single-payer health care system, insisting Saturday, Nov. 16 that she is “fully committed” to Medicare for All and that she plans to first build on existing health care programs because “people need help right now.” (AP PhotoCharlie Neibergall, File)

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a presidential forum at the California Democratic Party's convention Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Long Beach, Calif. (AP PhotoChris Carlson)