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 SandersOcasio-Cortez says Democrats must focus on winning White House for Biden All fracked up: Biden's Keystone State breakdown The Memo: Five reasons why Trump could upset the odds MORE (I-Vt.) wins the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperBiden: Meadows coronavirus remark a 'candid acknowledgement' of Trump strategy 'to wave the white flag' Meadows: 'We're not going to control the pandemic' Pence travel questioned after aides test positive 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 John TrumpFox News president, top anchors advised to quarantine after coronavirus exposure: report Six notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Biden on attacks on mental fitness: Trump thought '9/11 attack was 7/11 attack' 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.