McCaskill: Sanders has made Clinton a better candidate
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Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemings asked about Senate run after sparring with Jordan on police funding Republicans fret over divisive candidates Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP MORE (D-Mo.) said Monday that Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Memo: Outrage rises among liberals over Israel On The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push Symone Sanders 'hurt' at being passed over for press secretary: report MORE (I-Vt.) is molding front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAmerica departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' 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.