Caufield: Sanders's Endorsement of Clinton 'Necessary but Tough'

May 12, 2016

In a speech after his victory in the West Virginia primary Tuesday, Bernie Sanders made a nod towards unity in his party. 

"Our message to the Democratic delegates who will be assembling in Philadelphia is while we may have many disagreements with Secretary Clinton, there is one area we agree, and that is we must defeat Donald Trump."

Rachel Caufield, associate professor of political science at Drake and associate director of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University, believes the Democratic Party have a tough situation on their hands.

"Bernie Sanders, I think, has surprised a lot of people, including Bernie Sanders. But what he has shown the party, I think, is that the left flank of the Democratic party is alive and well. And he's married that with a kind of populism and dissatisfaction with the status quo that is both more liberal than the mainstream Democratic party and, in some cases, more conservative than the mainstream Democratic party."

That makes an endorsement of Clinton from Sanders a tough path to walk.

"A lot of those people who have been attracted to the Sanders campaign are not a natural fit with Hillary Clinton."

In this politics day of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Caufield and with Steffen Schmidt, university professor of politics at Iowa State University, about Tuesday's primaries, Trump's vice president possibilities, and the fight between North Carolina's governor and the Department of Justice.