Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden could be in danger of losing the 2020 election because “a significant portion” of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters are “currently unsupportive and unenthusiastic” about his candidacy, according to a top Sanders adviser.
Jeff Weaver wrote in a memo Friday that the former vice president faces a “clear and dangerous trend” of losing the White House in November if he does not get support from Latinos, working-class voters and young people, The Hill reported.
“There is a real and urgent need to help Biden consolidate Sanders supporters,” Weaver wrote.
“If all of Sanders’ base turned out for Joe Biden in November, he could defeat Trump and take back the White House for Democrats. Here’s the problem: significant portions don’t currently plan to.”
Weaver recently launched America’s Promise PAC to help garner support for Biden from progressives. Another former Sanders adviser, Chuck Rocha, also launched a PAC to try to get support from Latino voters.
Sanders dropped out of the race in April and has been encouraging his supporters to rally behind Biden to avoid the same result as the 2016 election.
“I am asking all Americans, I’m asking every Democrat, I’m asking every independent, I’m asking a lot of Republicans, to come together in this campaign to support your candidacy, which I endorse, to make certain that we defeat somebody who I believe is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country,” the Vermont senator said in a virtual event with Biden last month.
Sanders and Biden have also created six “Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces” to try to unify the Democratic Party ahead of the general election in November.
The panels on climate change, education, health care, critical justice reform, the economy and immigration will all meet prior to the Democratic National Convention to shape Biden’s political agenda.
“A united party is key to defeating Donald Trump this November and moving our country forward through an unprecedented crisis,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday, according to NBC News.
But Weaver says it might not be enough, pointing to results of recent surveys.
A Suffolk University/USA Today poll found that 14 percent of Sanders supporters do not intend to vote for Biden in November and 61 percent say they are not excited to vote for Biden, which could present a problem, according to the director of Suffolk University Political Research Center.
“[I]f too many unenthusiastic Sanders voters decide to stick to their progressive principles and walk away from the table, it might be Donald Trump sitting pretty again — in the Oval Office,” David Paleologos said.
According to Weaver, Sanders’ supporters will play an important role in battleground states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, Iowa and North Carolina.
He added that the things Biden’s campaign has done to unite the party — like moving to the left on issues like health care, wages and labor rights — are “a good first step” but there is more that needs to be done to get support from Sanders’ supporters.
“Treating Sanders supporters as throw-away votes will ultimately be at the expense of the party, down ballot candidates, and our ability to enact real policy solutions for Americans,” he wrote.
“Despite best intentions, the Biden campaign and the [Democratic National Committee] are far behind on digital organizing, Latino outreach and progressive coalition building — all critical to reaching and winning over Sanders supporters.”
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