Mar 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Sanders insists Democrats will unite around eventual nominee

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday dismissed claims from some Democrats that it would be difficult to unite the party around him, insisting on ABC's "This Week" that the "threat" that President Trump poses will rally Democratic voters and leaders to support the eventual nominee.

What he's saying: "At the end of the day, I have known Joe Biden for a very long time. He is a decent guy. I have no doubt that if I win, Joe will be there. If Joe ends up winning, I will be there. We are going to come together and President Obama in my view — he has said this — will play a leading role in helping whoever the Democratic nominee is."

Why it matters: Establishment Democrats have been sounding the alarm over nominating a democratic socialist, believing that Sanders will lose to President Trump in the general election and damage down-ballot candidates for House and Senate.

  • Sanders supporters, many of whom adopted the mantra "Bernie or bust" in 2016, are also the least likely of any candidate's base to say they'll support the eventual Democratic nominee if it isn't Sanders, according to polling.
  • Trump has been stoking these flames as well, persistently tweeting about whether the Democratic Party will "steal" the nomination from Sanders. Trump advisers told Axios they want to promote the rise of Sanders, believing he will be an easy candidate to defeat.

The big picture: While Sanders still leads the pack as the Democratic front-runner heading into Super Tuesday, Joe Biden's sweeping victory in South Carolina Saturday night could give him a much-needed boost of momentum.

Go deeper

Super Tuesday suddenly looks different

Biden celebrates in South Carolina. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Joe Biden's huge win in South Carolina is resetting the parameters of the Democratic contest ahead of Super Tuesday.

Why it matters: The former vice president's first primary victory raises existential questions for billionaire Mike Bloomberg and could slow Bernie Sanders' runaway train. And it could give new life to Biden's own withering electability argument — and ramp up pressure on moderates in his lane to drop out.

Sanders assesses path forward after more big Biden wins

Joe Biden speaks in Philadelphia after more crucial wins against Bernie Sanders. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The big question for Bernie Sanders after Tuesday night's losses: Is there a path back to the Democratic nomination, or is Joe Biden's trajectory unstoppable?

The state of play: Notably, Sanders did not comment on the results. Pressure ramped up on him to concede and Biden carefully began to turn his remarks to the general election after extending his delegate lead in "Super Tuesday 2," with wins in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden projected to win Michigan Democratic primary

Biden at a rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit Monday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the projected winner of the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan, the biggest contest of the night, according to multiple media outlets.

Why it matters: Bernie Sanders' loss in a state that chose him over Hillary Clinton four years ago goes beyond a symbolic blow — with the potential to hand Biden a significant delegate lead.