Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) said on Sunday that he is not concerned that down-ballot candidates would be hurt if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) wins the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. 

CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCarson says issues over systemic racism are ‘very uncommon now’ Congressional Black Caucus chair says ‘a lot of’ House GOP interest in police reform bill National security adviser blames ‘a few bad apples,’ says there’s not systemic racism in law enforcement MORE asked Dean on “State of the Union” if he is “concerned of what it might mean for the Democratic Party in terms of winning the White House in November or winning down-ballot tickets” if Sanders is the nominee.

Dean, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and 2004 presidential candidate, answered that he is not worried “at all.”

“I’ll tell you why. [Sanders] certainly is a polarizing candidate, but we have an incredibly polarizing person on the other side,” Dean said, referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE.

Dean also said that Sanders has demonstrated he has the ability to “energize our core base,” and could turn out “swing voters” who wouldn’t ordinarily cast a ballot.

“If he continues to do this, I do think he’s going to be the nominee,” Dean said. “But I’m not ready to say that.”

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“But certainly I’d probably rather be where Bernie is than anybody else,” he added. 

ADVERTISEMENTSanders has had a strong start in the Democratic race, winning in New Hampshire and Nevada and finishing a close second in Iowa. 

The Vermont progressive currently has 29 delegates, with eight so far coming from Nevada’s caucuses Saturday. About 28 delegates for Nevada had not been allocated to candidates as of Sunday morning.

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