Baltimore has been the target of a political firestorm ignited by President Donald Trump's recent tweets. And Democratic voters watching the second presidential debate here told us the country needs a leader who they say represents the changing demographics in the U.S. population.
"I'm not particularly interested in voting for old white men anymore," said Benn Ray, co-owner of Atomic Books in Baltimore, Md. "I think it's not reflective of where this country is headed or where this country is and I think it's time that we start looking beyond that for our leaders."
Ray says he wasn't surprised about the President's recent tweets calling Elijah Cummings' district, which includes parts of Baltimore, "a rat and rodent infested mess."
"He's the President of the United States, not the President of the United States with the exception of certain cities that he doesn't like," Ray said. "He's the President of all of us, for him to sort of beat down on us with tweets and comments instead of helping us is profoundly disappointing and discouraging."
This eclectic independent bookstore has hosted debate watch parties in the past couple of years. Ray, like many who were at the party lean progressive. He's leaning towards supporting Elizabeth Warren, despite previously supporting Bernie Sanders.
"I like Bernie Sanders [but] I can't see voting for him anymore," Ray said. " I think his time [has] passed but those are the two that I like the most. I'm Kamala Harris curious at this point strictly because I'd really like to see her debate Trump on a stage. I have a feeling she would just dismantle Trump.
I think everybody has sort of taken note from the previous debate and sort of adjusted and certain people have over adjusted," said Rachel Rose. like [Joe Biden] has certainly over adjusted but I think that de Blasio is really starting to refine himself and seems to be the clear standout from the debate tonight."
Lifelong Democrat Pat Smith says he's just happy to see progressive issues at the forefront of the campaign.
"This is the first time in my life I've heard people say the things that I've wanted to hear them say even in Democratic primaries," said Pat Smith. "This is an important time. This is a time we need to win and I think we have an awful lot of people and a lot of momentum on our side."
Many are optimistic about the prospect of change but there's still a sense of doubt that things will remain the same.
"There are like larger things at play such as perception," added Rachel Rose. "There's part of me that wants to believe and part of me that is still altruistic and wants to believe that this country has seen what will happen and is willing to take a chance on something new, different, hopeful, strong and driven but then there is another part of me that knows that maybe what this country wants to vote for right now is a moderate white man."
So far, only a handful of candidates have qualified for the third round of debates set to take place next month in Houston, Texas.