Can Sanders secure the Vermont vote?

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) As Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders vies for support in Nevada on Saturday, some Democrats in his home state are still unsure about him.

Bernie Sanders (Cutout Photo: Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0)

WCAX News caught up with voters on Church Street to find out where Democrats stand ahead of Super Tuesday. Many of them said they’re still undecided but they’re leaning toward Sanders.

But a few of them said they think some things about Sanders are problematic, including his personality and some of his policies.

"His delivery is terrible. He's kind of like a grumpy grandpa and I just don't like his persona and I definitely don't like his supporters -- the 'Bernie bros,'" said Kimberly Williams, a registered Democrat.

Williams doesn’t think Sanders is tough enough on gun legislation, something his opponents attacked him for at the last Democratic debate.

In the 1990s, Sanders voted twice against versions of the Brady Bill, a federal law that requires a waiting period for handgun purchases and a background check. In 2003 and 2005, Sanders supported legislation that protects gun companies from lawsuits if their weapons are used in a crime.

"I don't think he's a panderer but I'm really concerned that he doesn't think that all folks should register their weapons. I don't know why he doesn't believe in that registry and also making sure gun manufacturers pay the price if something bad goes wrong,” said Williams.

Alex Giles, a Middlebury College political science major, is worried some of Sanders' policies might turn away voters in key states.

"He's very strict about no fracking at all with the environment. And I may personally agree, but he needs to win states like Pennsylvania, and that is a huge part of their economy,” Giles said. “And I'm just worried that Trump will be able to brand him as a socialist, even though Democratic socialist and socialist are two very different things -- but that's a technicality.”

Sanders also came under fire at the latest debate for not releasing his health records after suffering a heart attack on the campaign trail last year.

Hattie LaFavour, who is also a political science major at Middlebury College, thinks the criticism is uncalled for.

“I think that’s a personal matter and if he’s healthy and if his doctor has released a statement that he’s healthy enough to run for president, then I think that should be enough. I think it’s private,” she said.

All of the Democrats WCAX spoke with on Sunday agree that beating President Trump in November is their priority. They say they will vote for whoever becomes the Democratic nominee.