Some leading Democrats are increasingly anxious about Hillary Clinton’s prospects for winning the party’s presidential nomination, warning that Sen.Bernie Sanders’s growing strength in early battleground states and strong fundraising point to a campaign that could last well into the spring.
What seemed recently to be a race largely controlled by Clinton has turned into a neck-and-neck contest with voting set to begin in less than three weeks.
On Capitol Hill and in state party headquarters, some Democrats worry that a Sanders nomination could imperil candidates down the ballot in swing districts and states. Others sense deja vu from 2008, when Clinton’s overwhelming edge cratered in the days before the Iowa caucuses.
Just as Barack Obama’s stunning upset there helped assure Democrats in later states that a black man could win votes from whites and propelled him to victory in South Carolina and other places, so, too, could a Sanders victory on Feb. 1 in Iowa and then Feb. 9 in New Hampshire ease doubts about the viability of a self-described “democratic socialist,” some said.