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Biden Say Sanders ‘Not Likely’ to Increase Obama Voter Turnout

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden during the Democratic primary debate in Charleston, S.C., February 25, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Former vice president Joe Biden said after the South Carolina debate Tuesday that it is “not likely” that the nomination of Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) will lead to record levels of Democratic turnout.

“The fact is, the idea that Bernie’s going to bring out more people than Barack and I brought out in 2012 or 2008, is just not likely,” Biden told CBS correspondent Major Garrett after the debate. “And you look what’s happened so far — you’ve got to be able to go out and get mainstream Democrats, and you’ve got to be able to go out and get independents, and some Republicans to vote, to bring this country together. And you do that by talking sensibly about what’s at stake. “

Sanders has repeatedly raised the notion that the 2020 Democratic nominee will need to have a huge voter turnout to defeat President Trump. Democrats “need to have the largest voter turnout in the history of the United States,” he said at the debate on Tuesday. In January, Sanders criticized Biden for a record that lacked “energy and excitement.”

“What is imperative is that we defeat Trump, the most dangerous president in modern history, and that means you’re going to have to have a huge voter turnout. You’re going to have to get working people excited, you’re going to have to get young people excited,” Sanders told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “ . . . If we’re going to beat Trump, we need turnout. And to get turnout you need energy and excitement. And I just don’t think that that kind of record is going to bring forth the energy that we need to defeat Trump.”

Voter turnout has been relatively average in the Democratic primary’s early states. New Hampshire saw a record turnout but numbers fell short of the 2008 primary turnout in Iowa and Nevada. Data shows that Sanders likely decreased his 2020 primary support in Iowa and New Hampshire compared to 2016, with a slight increase in Nevada.

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