Some Clinton supporters say very much so:
Hillary Clinton allies worried about polls that suggest a tightening general election match-up with Donald Trump are placing blame on Bernie Sanders. They say that the long primary fight with the independent senator from Vermont, which looks like it could go all the way to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, has taken a toll on Clinton’s standing in the polls. In the latest RealClearPolitics average,she is two-tenths of a point behind Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
The surrogates say they’re concerned that Sanders is still — this late in the game — throwing shots at Clinton and the Democratic establishment. “I don’t think he realizes the damage he’s doing at this point,” one ally said of Sanders. “I understand running the campaign until the end, fine. But at least take the steps to begin bringing everyone together.” In an interview with ABC on Sunday, Sanders called voting for Clinton in the general election “the lesser of two evils.”
Others say that Sanders is actually helping the Democrats:
Sanders supporters often point out that he does better against Trump in the polls than Clinton does. There’s some truth to this—he beats Trump by 54 percent to 39 percent in the NBC/WSJ poll—although it ignores the fact that the most damaging attacks against Sanders, related to his older far-left politics, have never been made nationally. This point is moot, though, since it is virtually impossible for Sanders to win the Democratic nomination. But if he won’t ever have a chance to face Trump, he can still help the party defeat the Republican demagogue. If Sanders has any say in it, the Democrats won’t make the centrist case against Trump, but an openly progressive one. And by staying in the race, Sanders has ensured that he does indeed have a say in it.