Denver, Colorado – The good start of Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is generating concern among some party legislators, who warn that a formula headed by the candidate who identifies as a social democrat could be “disastrous” for aspirations of that political force to get a majority in the Senate and retain control of the House of Representatives.
In talks around the Capitol, nervous Democrats have expressed concern that Senator Sanders’ label of being a socialist and his uncompromising support for controversial proposals such as “Medicare for All” and the New Green Deal will scare off voters in wealthy districts and moderates that helped them gain control of the lower house in 2018, as well as in very tightly fought states where Republican senators are vulnerable.
The independent Vermont lawmaker won on Tuesday by narrow margin in New Hampshire after his firm performance in Iowa and is considered a broad favorite along with Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.RELATED
“I am a proud capitalist,” said Democratic Representative Ben McAddams of Utah, in his first term in Congress, in stark contrast to Sanders. McAdams, who supports former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and whose district in Salt Lake City is among the most difficult to keep for Democrats, said having a liberal like Sanders at the head of the presidential formula “may give me more opportunities to show my independence ”of the party.
Another first-time Democratic legislator from a heavily contested district, Rep. Tom Malinowski of New Jersey, said Democrats need a presidential candidate who “does not scare all those future ex-republicans more than (President Donald) Trump and frightens them ” And although he recognizes that Republicans plan to label all Democrats as “socialists,” “there is a candidate for whom that would not be a lie.”
Democratic representative Dina Titus of Nevada, who supports the candidacy of former Vice President Joe Biden, warned this week to a group of Democratic voters who with Sanders at the head of the presidential formula “you will not recover the Senate. There is no way, because everyone will be cataloged the same. We may lose benches in the House of Representatives. ”
In private conversations, a Democratic representative said his colleagues in districts where voters could change their minds and elect a ruling opposition party fear that Sanders will get the presidential candidacy, and another said the moderates are increasingly worried that this application destroys their chances of winning the White House and retaining the lower house. Lawmakers requested anonymity to make statements about those talks.
The nervousness of the Democrats has Republicans rubbing their hands in pleasure.
“It’s every Republican’s dream come true,” said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, former director of the Republican campaign commission to the House of Representatives, referring to the possibility of Sanders winning the Democratic presidential candidacy.
Republicans face a difficult electoral contest to gain control of the House of Representatives, in which Democrats have a majority of 232-197, with an independent and five vacancies. The Republican Party controls the Senate by 53-47 and is favorite to retain the majority.
Biden supporters are happy to take advantage of the fear of the impact that a Sanders victory would have on the strength of the party in Congress as a tool to gain support.
The Democratic representative Ami Bera of California, who supports Biden, said that if Sanders gets the candidacy, the Democrats of the moderate districts “may have to distance themselves from our presidential flagman in order to be elected.”