They argued that a feud between the two candidates could split voters on the left flank of the party, boosting the chances that either former vice president Joe Biden or former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg could gain momentum and end up facing off against President Trump in November.
As the Democratic National Committee's qualifying thresholds have risen, the number of candidates who will appear on stage have shrunk, with only six candidates participating before the Iowa caucuses less than three weeks away. "We've got at least four people who are bunched right there together at the top".
Sanders said he had not approved the negative talking points related to his Democratic rivals. Similarly, in New Hampshire, a poll conducted by CBS News and YouGov from December 27 to January 3 showed Sanders in the lead with 27 percent support, followed by Biden at 25 percent. The poll's five-point margin of error put the four in a statistical tie. "That's the kind of commander in chief we need", Sanders campaign wrote in a formal statement, previewing a line of attack the senator will likely continue on the debate stage against the former vice president.
"The last couple of weeks here makes a big difference", Biden told staffers in Des Moines, going on to note that the race is essentially a "toss up" going into the debate.
The clear implication of this account is that if Sanders or Warren, rather than Biden, were to emerge as the frontrunner, Bloomberg would stay in the race and spend virtually unlimited sums against them. Sanders called the claims ludicrous.
The widening rift between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren has left the political world unsure of whom to believe surrounding a carefully timed story conveniently leaked to the press accusing the Vermont senator of telling his counterpart from MA that a woman could not win the 2020 election.
Warren told reporters that she was "disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me".
"I thought a woman could win; he disagreed", Warren, a USA senator from MA, said in a statement released late on Monday describing the two-hour meeting in December 2018.
Sanders and his team have strongly disagreed with the description of the meeting. After deciding early a year ago not to run for president, because of the perceived strength of Biden as the frontrunner, Bloomberg reversed himself and entered the race in late November, at the point when Biden's poll numbers and fundraising were at a low ebb.
"Should he actually become the nominee, I think that it would definitely change the national conversation significantly", said Capri Cafaro, a politics lecturer at American University in Washington and the former Democratic leader of the Ohio State Senate. These are "Hope" voters who want a better world. Second in line was Warren, with more than $60 million raised and close to $26 million on hand.
Looming over the entire Democratic primary though is anxiety over electability. While Klobuchar sparred with Buttigieg during the last debate, she's previously sought to tamp down tensions among her opponents on the stage and avoided taking the moderators' bait in going after other candidates.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has doubled his lead over President Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election match-up, according to new polling from Morning Consult. "Buttigieg is going to have to do very well in Iowa and New Hampshire for a major bounce as he is struggling in national polls and in nearly every state poll outside Iowa and New Hampshire".
Over the weekend, Warren campaigned with former Housing Secretary Julian Castro. She knows her campaign rests entirely on the results of Iowa.
Sanders also stepped up his criticism of the foreign policy record of former Vice President Biden, the choice of the Democratic Party establishment for the presidential nomination, citing Biden's 2002 vote for the Authorization for Use of Military Force resolution that gave the green light for the Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq.