Moderate and establishment Democrats have NO love for the Independent US Senator from Vermont…
His surge in the polls since his heart attack has them worried…
For the first time since launching his first insurgent bid for the Democratic presidential nomination almost five years ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) finds himself under the harsh scrutiny of his leading rivals ahead of a critical debate Tuesday night in Des Moines.
Two polls out in recent days show Sanders at or near the top of the pack in Iowa, the crucial first-in-the-nation caucus state. He has garnered endorsements from progressive organizations and legislators and from a top union in New Hampshire, whose voters get a second crack at the candidates a week after the Iowa caucuses.
And where many Democratic candidates and leading figures within the party once had little reason to engage with the most liberal candidate in the field, they now all have incentives to contrast themselves with Sanders.
“The closer we get, the stakes get higher, and the candidates that are left on the debate stage think they have a chance to win Iowa, and they have to go through Bernie Sanders to do it,” said Martha McKenna, a Democratic strategist who is unaligned in the race.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a friend and ally, sees Sanders as an impediment to her own pool of progressive voters.
She expressed outrage over the weekend after Sanders volunteers were reportedly given scripts casting her as a candidate of the elite unable to grow beyond the Democratic base.
The Warren campaign also confirmed a CNN report Monday that Sanders had told her he did not believe a woman could win the White House, a report Sanders vehemently denied.
Former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to use his time on the debate stage to contrast his foreign policy experience with Sanders, positioning himself as a steady hand at a moment when the United States faces an ongoing crisis with Iran.
Biden backers point to Sanders’s involvement in the Cold War politics of 1980s Latin America as one of the attacks he would face from President Trump‘s campaign….