Sanders managed to pull up his numbers to make him a competitive threat to Clinton, but Democratic consultants do not see Sanders as a threat come convention time this summer in Philadelphia.
“Even if HRC loses Iowa and NH, she will still sweep the South and Midwest and win the nomination comfortably,” Democratic consultant and former Clinton campaign strategist Doug Schoen told the Daily Caller.
Former Obama White House Press Secretary Bill Burton agrees, telling The Daily Caller, “Even if Secretary Clinton loses Iowa and New Hampshire – and that is a big if – she will still completely overwhelm him in the states that follow.”
Many believe Sanders will lose steam after New Hampshire because the states that follow tend to have more minority residents than that of Iowa and the Granite State, a demographic Clinton is polling better with.
“It’s about six months of communication versus 20 years,” Marcus Ferrell, Sanders’ African-American Outreach Director, comparing Sanders to Clinton. “For us to be where we are is good. It’s not like our numbers have gone down, they have crept up,” he told CNN.
Veteran political strategist Hank Sheinkopf, however, wonders if party bosses will lock down the nomination for Clinton if Sanders stays in the race too long.
“Maybe the real question is will state party chairs and super delegates do their best to block Bernie Sanders if he appears to be the nominee? They might if they want to destroy their party,” said Sheinkopf.
In an effort to overcome his deficit with minority voters, Sanders is expected to be featured in next month’s Ebony magazine and will appear at a Martin Luther King Day Rally on Birmingham, Alabama with Cornel West and Nina Turner, a former Ohio state lawmaker who defected from the Clinton camp to Sanders’ in the fall.