Over a Dozen Swing State House Dems Fear Bernie or Warren Nomination, Rally Behind Biden
“The wrong person at the top of the ticket — and I’m not saying who that is — there would be down-ballot carnage all across the country”
Apparently it’s not just Democrat operatives and insiders who are sounding the alarm over a potential nomination of socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) or Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Both are so far out of the mainstream, even among Democrats, that over a dozen House Democrats in swing states are reportedly rallying behind former vice president Joe Biden (D-DE).
A slate of endangered House Democrats is coalescing behind Joe Biden for president as the Iowa caucuses approach — a surge of support triggered by fears that Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren at the top of the ticket would cost them their seats.
More than a dozen swing-seat freshmen have taken part in at least one private call session with Biden, Amy Klobuchar or Pete Buttigieg in recent weeks. A handful have already gravitated toward the former vice president, and more are expected to follow before Democrats start voting on Feb. 3, according to interviews with 15 lawmakers, aides and campaign strategists.
Others are still hearing out Klobuchar — who held her own call with a dozen members on Monday night — and Buttigieg. Both candidates are pitching themselves as middle-of-the-road Democrats who can stem the leftward surge of the party.
“I’m looking at all the moderates in the race,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), who holds a GOP-leaning district in upstate New York. “If we’re going to campaign on issues like Medicare for All and free college for everybody, we’re not going to have a winning message in 2020.”
These House Democrats are concerned that if the party nominates a candidate with a lunatic socialist agenda—like that of Bernie and Warren—the result will be “down-ballot carnage all across the country.”
“The wrong person at the top of the ticket — and I’m not saying who that is — there would be down-ballot carnage all across the country, and I think that people are starting to recognize it,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), a national co-chair of the Biden campaign.
Unlike in 2016, when most Democrats rallied around Hillary Clinton, most have so far stayed on the sidelines of the party’s primary fight, anxious of drawing battle lines that could further divide their district or attract a primary challenge from the left.
But an increasing number of centrists are quietly engaging with campaigns, particularly Biden, through conference calls and staff-to-staff contact, in the run-up to Iowa’s caucuses.
If Democrats don’t want Bernie or Warren, it’s not difficult to figure out how the rest of the country—i.e. the general electorate—feels about them. These House Dems are right to sound the alarm.