Dean says he's not worried Sanders would harm down-ballot Democratic candidates

Dean says he's not worried Sanders would harm down-ballot Democratic candidates
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Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) said on Sunday that he is not concerned that down-ballot candidates would be hurt if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden pushing to cancel Keystone XL pipeline as soon as he takes office: reports Biden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster MORE (I-Vt.) wins the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOfficials brace for second Trump impeachment trial Sunday shows - Capital locked down ahead of Biden's inauguration Durbin says he won't whip votes for Trump's second impeachment trial MORE asked Dean on "State of the Union" if he is “concerned of what it might mean for the Democratic Party in terms of winning the White House in November or winning down-ballot tickets” if Sanders is the nominee.

Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and 2004 presidential candidate, answered that he is not worried “at all.”

“I’ll tell you why. [Sanders] certainly is a polarizing candidate, but we have an incredibly polarizing person on the other side,” Dean said, referring to President TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE.

Dean also said that Sanders has demonstrated he has the ability to “energize our core base,” and could turn out “swing voters” who wouldn’t ordinarily cast a ballot.

“If he continues to do this, I do think he’s going to be the nominee,” Dean said. “But I’m not ready to say that.”

“But certainly I’d probably rather be where Bernie is than anybody else,” he added. 

Sanders has had a strong start in the Democratic race, winning in New Hampshire and Nevada and finishing a close second in Iowa. 

The Vermont progressive currently has 29 delegates, with eight so far coming from Nevada’s caucuses Saturday. About 28 delegates for Nevada had not been allocated to candidates as of Sunday morning.