Democratic strategist: Washington will 'freak out' if Sanders wins Democratic nomination

Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman predicted Thursday that Washington will “freak out” if Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE (I-Vt.) wins the Democratic presidential nomination.

“My biggest fear is that if Bernie gets the nomination, Democrats [will] shoot [themselves] in the foot because we have issues personally with Bernie or whatever the heck it is and we do not come together and beat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE,” Feldman, founder of the progressive firm Feldman Strategies, told Hill.TV.

“If we do that, shame on us,” he added.

Feldman said that if former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Meghan McCain to Joy Behar: 'You guys have done a piss-poor job of convincing me that I should vote for a Democrat' MORE sees a significant drop in support, the Democratic Party could rally behind fellow 2020 contender and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergBloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Warren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE.

His comments come as Sanders remains near the top of most polls in Iowa less than two weeks before the Hawkeye State's caucuses.

According to RealClearPolitics polling index, the Vermont senator trails Biden in Iowa by around 4 percentage points and is in a dead heat with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Bloomberg making debate will show how other candidates handle 'an egomaniac billionaire' Klobuchar campaign gets first super PAC HuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination MORE (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegHuffPost reporter: Sanders could win plurality of delegates but lose nomination Sanders campaign expands operations in Michigan Sanders leads among Latino voters: poll MORE (D), who are both within 1 point of the Vermont senator.

A separate RealClearPolitics average of New Hampshire poll shows Sanders in the top spot in the Granite State at 21.6 percent followed by Biden at 17.6 percent, Buttigeig at 14.8 percent and Warren at 14 percent.

Sanders also appears to be gaining ground on a national level. A CNN poll released Wednesday showed Sanders leading the field with 27 percent support, edging past Biden and giving the senator a 7-point surge since last month.

Amid his rise in polls, Sanders this week also faced criticism from former secretary of State and 2016 Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat Bernie Sanders's Super Tuesday problem Democrats worried about Trump's growing strength MORE, who called him unlikeable, sparking backlash. Clinton later clarified she would support whoever wins the party's nomination.

Trump has seized on this intraparty fighting, declaring Thursday that Democrats would “never allow” Sanders to win.

"Crazy Bernie takes the lead in the Democrat Primaries, but it is looking more and more like the Dems will never allow him to win! Will Sleepy Joe be able to stumble across the finish line?" Trump tweeted, using nicknames for Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

—Tess Bonn