Former Vice President Joe Biden voiced his concern Tuesday over whether Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders could unify the party if he should win the Democratic presidential nomination.
According to a report from the Associated Press, the former Delaware senator told reporters in Muscatine, Iowa, that the party’s overall ability to unify would be dependent on the candidates’ behavior up to that point. (RELATED: Betting Odds Upset: Bernie Blows Past Biden, Bloomberg In Third)
“We have to unite. I’m not going to make judgments now,” he said. “I just think that it depends upon how we treat one another between now and the time we have a nominee.”
A recent National Emerson College Poll indicated that the reverse situation — Sanders’ supporters refusing to throw their support behind any candidate other than their own — could also pose a problem for the Democratic Party.
The poll was conducted among 1128 registered voters between January 21-23, and found that just over half — 53% — of Sanders supporters would support the Democratic nominee if their candidate lost.
Another 16% said they would not support a nominee other than Sanders, and 31% said that their support would depend on who the Democratic nominee was.
Biden’s supporters, however, were quicker to pledge support to the party, with 87% saying that they would definitely support any Democratic nominee. Only 5% said they would not support any candidate other than Biden, and 9% said their support would be dependent on the candidate.