Democratic strategist: Washington will 'freak out' if Sanders wins Democratic nomination

Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman predicted Thursday that Washington will “freak out” if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill The Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' MORE (I-Vt.) wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

“My biggest fear is that if Bernie gets the nomination, Democrats [will] shoot [themselves] in the foot because we have issues personally with Bernie or whatever the heck it is and we do not come together and beat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE,” Feldman, founder of the progressive firm Feldman Strategies, told Hill.TV.

“If we do that, shame on us,” he added.

Feldman said that if former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration MORE sees a significant drop in support, the Democratic Party could rally behind fellow 2020 contender and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Fox's Ingraham mocks DNC over Nevada voting malfunctions: 'Are we a Third World country?' At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration MORE.

His comments come as Sanders remains near the top of most polls in Iowa less than two weeks before the Hawkeye State's caucuses.

According to RealClearPolitics polling index, the Vermont senator trails Biden in Iowa by around 4 percentage points and is in a dead heat with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen Surging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada Bloomberg to do interview with Al Sharpton MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegThe Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen At Democratic debate, missed opportunities on immigration Surging Sanders looks for decisive win in Nevada MORE (D), who are both within 1 point of the Vermont senator.

A separate RealClearPolitics average of New Hampshire poll shows Sanders in the top spot in the Granite State at 21.6 percent followed by Biden at 17.6 percent, Buttigeig at 14.8 percent and Warren at 14 percent.

Sanders also appears to be gaining ground on a national level. A CNN poll released Wednesday showed Sanders leading the field with 27 percent support, edging past Biden and giving the senator a 7-point surge since last month.

Amid his rise in polls, Sanders this week also faced criticism from former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRussian interference reports rock Capitol Hill Judge dismisses Nunes' lawsuit against Fusion GPS The Hill's Campaign Report: What to watch for in Nevada MORE, who called him unlikeable, sparking backlash. Clinton later clarified she would support whoever wins the party's nomination.

Trump has seized on this intraparty fighting, declaring Thursday that Democrats would “never allow” Sanders to win.

"Crazy Bernie takes the lead in the Democrat Primaries, but it is looking more and more like the Dems will never allow him to win! Will Sleepy Joe be able to stumble across the finish line?" Trump tweeted, using nicknames for Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

—Tess Bonn