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 SandersJacobin editor: Primarying Schumer would force him to fight Trump's SCOTUS nominee Trump campaign plays up Biden's skills ahead of Cleveland debate: 'He's actually quite good' Young voters backing Biden by 2:1 margin: poll 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 TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid 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 BidenJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Trump puts Supreme Court fight at center of Ohio rally Special counsel investigating DeVos for potential Hatch Act violation: report MORE sees a significant drop in support, the Democratic Party could rally behind fellow 2020 contender and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergTop Democratic super PAC launches Florida ad blitz after Bloomberg donation The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Latest with the COVID-19 relief bill negotiations The Memo: 2020 is all about winning Florida 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 WarrenJudd Gregg: The Kamala threat — the Californiaization of America GOP set to release controversial Biden report Biden's fiscal program: What is the likely market impact? MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Bogeymen of the far left deserve a place in any Biden administration Overnight Defense: Woodward book causes new firestorm | Book says Trump lashed out at generals, told Woodward about secret weapons system | US withdrawing thousands of troops from Iraq 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 ClintonJoe Biden looks to expand election battleground into Trump country Biden leads Trump by 12 points among Catholic voters: poll The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden goes on offense 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