McCaskill: Sanders has made Clinton a better candidate
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Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: 'Millions of Americans' want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (D-Mo.) said Monday that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe battle of two Cubas Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Ro Khanna Democrats gear up to hit GOP senators on DACA MORE (I-Vt.) is molding front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump campaign launches Asian Pacific Americans coalition Van Jones: A 'white, liberal Hillary Clinton supporter' can pose a greater threat to black Americans than the KKK Taylor Swift slams Trump tweet: 'You have the nerve to feign moral superiority before threatening violence?' MORE into the best possible Democratic presidential candidate.

“Bernie’s challenge has made Hillary a better candidate,” she told host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”

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“It has made her stronger and more aggressive,” McCaskill added. "I have said an awful lot of good things about Bernie Sanders and the good work he is doing for America.”

McCaskill said she is endorsing Clinton rather than Sanders because the Vermont lawmaker "has not identified as a Democrat."

"He identifies as a socialist," she added. "The problem is in a state like mine it is very hard for voters to get past that."

McCaskill additionally said that Clinton has the advantage in a general election, given policies traditionally proposed by Republicans.

“I think she broadens the tent by highlighting the contrast between her policies and the Republican policies,” she said.

“Once the Republicans figure out who their nominee is, the contrast will be very clear,” McCaskill added. "I don’t think voters want to go to the failed, trickle-down economics that have frankly never worked.”

Clinton leads Sanders by 22 points nationwide, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.

He is proving competitive with the former first lady in the early voting state of New Hampshire, however, where he is currently edging her out by over 1 point.