The nation’s top elected black Democrat said the party should consider shutting down the primary process if Sen. Bernie Sanders doesn’t perform better Tuesday night than it seems he was going to do.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat who endorsed Mr. Biden on the eve of his state’s primary, said Mr. Sanders has to win at least one of the six states, or else.
“I think when the night is over, Joe Biden will be the prohibitive favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and quite frankly, if the night ends the way it has begun, I think it is time for us to shut this primary down, it is time for us to cancel the rest of these debates — because you don’t do anything but get yourself in trouble if you continue in this contest when it’s obvious that the numbers will not shake out for you,” he said.
At the time he spoke, al three states where the polls had closed (Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri) had been called for Mr. Biden. Results were still to come in three Western states — Idaho, North Dakota and Washington.
Besides warning Mr. Sanders that he might “get yourself in trouble” if he continues the contest, Mr. Clyburn also said it might help Mr. Trump in November.
“People will say things that you cannot overcome,” Mr. Clyburn warned.
Mr. Clyburn wasn’t the only Democratic power-broker to lean on Mr. Sanders to get out of the race on Tuesday evening.
Priorities USA Action Chairman Guy Cecil, leader of the largest Democratic super PAC, declared the race effectively wrapped up for Mr. Biden, saying his PAC would turn its attention to November and calling on others to do the same.