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 SandersRestless progressives eye 2024 Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill Five ways Senate could change Biden's spending plan 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 TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' 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 BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE sees a significant drop in support, the Democratic Party could rally behind fellow 2020 contender and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergThe economic challenges facing Jerome Powell and Joe Biden Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Democrats are sleepwalking towards electoral disaster in 2022 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 WarrenRestless progressives eye 2024 Poll: Harris, Michelle Obama lead for 2024 if Biden doesn't run Biden eyes new path for Fed despite Powell pick MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegRestless progressives eye 2024 GOP becoming a cult of know-nothings The massive messaging miscues of all the president's men (and women) 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 ClintonCountering the ongoing Republican delusion Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future 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