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Hillary and Bernie Discuss Unity

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton said Tuesday she has been reaching out to Bernie Sanders, seeking Democratic Party unity. (Reuters photo)

Hillary Clinton, who is expected to be the Democratic Party presidential nominee-in-waiting after next Tuesday's final primary elections, has been reaching out to her opponent, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), about unifying Democrats ahead of next month's national convention.

"I will certainly do everything I can to unify the Democratic Party," she told CNN on Tuesday. "Our campaigns have been reaching out to one another. We will continue to do that."

Clinton—based on the current delegate counts, including declared "super delegates"—is just 72 delegates away from securing the nomination. More than 800 pledged delegates in seven states are up for grabs on "Final Tuesday."

But the Sanders camp is quick to point out that without the super delegates, Clinton is still 660 delegates short of the nomination. And, since super delegates are able to change their support at will—and the former secretary of state faces a potential federal indictment over her use of private email while serving in the State Department—there's no reason to bow out until "the last vote is counted."

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The Democratic Party establishment, however, has made it clear it wants Clinton rather than Sanders.

So, just how likely is it that the two sides can come together and begin healing their own self-inflicted wounds before November's general election? According to a Wednesday report by The Atlantic, not very:

Recent polling suggests the race between Clinton and Bernie Sanders in next week's California primary has grown increasingly competitive, an uncomfortable reminder for Clinton that she has not yet managed to lock up the nomination, despite her lead in the delegate count. Calls for unity have undoubtedly grown louder as a result of these apparent divisions, not in spite of them. But if Clinton and her allies fail to offer Sanders supporters a compelling reason to switch allegiances, unity won't come easily.

It's not hard to see why anxious Democrats want to get the whole thing over with. Trump has stepped up his attacks on Clinton and can devote his attention to the general election as the Republican presumptive nominee. Clinton must now wage a two-front fight, defending her left and right flank. As the primary drags on, her campaign has had to sink time and money into states that are not expected to be general-election battlegrounds. Yet as Clinton supporters call for an end to the Democratic primary, they risk alienating the voters who have so far sided with Sanders—voters Clinton will need in November. Which leaves a question: What's the best way for Democrats to bring together a fractured coalition once the primary election ends?

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