Sanders' Rivals 'Might As Well Crown Bernie To Take On Trump' If They Won't Stop Splitting Vote, Says Laurence Tribe

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' Democratic rivals "might as well crown" him as the candidate to "take on Trump," unless they are willing to stop splitting up the vote in the primary race, Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe warned.

With Sanders projected to win big at the Nevada caucuses, strengthening his status as the Democratic frontrunner to take on President Donald Trump, Tribe warned that the race was too crowded for the democratic socialist's rivals to take him down.

All six of the democratic socialist's top competitors "have plenty to offer as alternatives to Sanders," Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard Law School, said in a statement on Twitter. However, he said, unless they "triage and reduce the 6 to 1, they might as well crown Bernie to take on Trump."

"It's tough," said Tribe, who has been an outspoken critic of Sanders throughout the 2020 Democratic race. "I know, but it is what it is."

Naming former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, former Mayors Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg, and philanthropist Tom Steyer, as the top six Democratic hopefuls competing with Sanders in the bid to take on Trump, Tribe suggested that they consolidate their strengths and throw their weight behind one candidate.

It is unclear which of the six contenders Tribe believes should be the one to go toe-to-toe with Sanders. But his primary argument appeared to be that unless Democratic contenders cut down the competition, Sanders may always come out ahead. Newsweek has contacted Tribe for further comment.

Joe Biden, Mike Blumberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren: All 6 have plenty to offer as alternatives to Sanders, but unless they triage and reduce the 6 to 1, they might as well crown Bernie to take on Trump. It’s tough, I know, but it is what it is.

— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) February 22, 2020

While Tribe has been critical of Sanders' candidacy for president in the past, he has also made clear that the notion of supporting Trump over the democratic socialist is "incomprehensible" to him.

Some people on Twitter disagreed with the professor's assertion that the only way for another Democratic contender to defeat Sanders would be to cut down the competition.

"If you think Bloomberg and Warren should unite based on their [ideological] similarities to stop Bernie, your brain is broken," television writer Guy Endore-Kaiser said in response to Tribe's plan.

Others suggested that it was still too early in the race for Sanders' competitors to either step down or hand the democratic socialist the crown.

Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks following the Nevada caucuses during a campaign rally at Cowboys Dancehall on February 22, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. Sanders celebrated as he was projected to win big at the Nevada caucuses. Drew Angerer/Getty

Indeed, there is still a long way to go until a Democratic nominee can be confirmed.

While Biden did not see the results he likely anticipated in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former vice president appeared to hold second place in Nevada, as of early Sunday morning.

Sanders, however, was declared the winner not long after results streamed in Saturday night. By early Sunday morning, with 50 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders held 46.6 percent of the vote, compared to Biden's 19.2 percent, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Buttigieg was at 15.4 percent, Warren at 10.3 percent, Klobuchar at 4.5 percent and Steyer at 3.8 percent. Bloomberg was not on the ballot.

Sanders was quick to celebrate his apparent victory.

"We won Nevada!" he said on Twitter. "We are building an unprecedented grassroots movement, and together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish," he said.