Democratic insiders tend to be institutionalists. They are more likely than ordinary voters to care about the fact that Sanders hasn’t always been a registered Democrat, that he often criticizes party officials, and that he didn’t do more to help Clinton in 2016. -- AtlanticAs Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg surge to the top of the polls, and party favorite, Joe Biden continues to sink like a stone, Dem leaders are crying foul. "They're not really Democrats", they shout, pointing to Sanders' history as an independent and Bloomberg's as a Republican.
Actually, Sanders, the self-described socialist has always caucused with Senate Democrats while Bloomberg, a lifelong Democrat before seeking elective office, switched his party registration in 2001 to run for mayor as a Republican. Yes, I know. It's hard to imagine the billionaire autocrat Bloomberg as anything but a Republican and he really isn't.
Case in point. Amid one of the most pivotal campaigns in the country in 2016, one many thought could decide control of the Senate, Bloomberg poured millions of dollars into the contest — to help Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Each of them recently has in fact, sworn fielty to the eventual nominee with Sanders signing a loyalty pledge and Bloomberg offering to donate a much as $1 billion to the eventual nominee's campaign, even if it's not him.
That being said, the charge of party disloyalty doesn't seem to be hurting either of them in the primary and in fact, might even be helpful with white suburban Democrats who just want to beat Trump, or in some of the battleground states where the aroma of the disastrous Hillary Clinton campaign still lingers.
Sanders spokesperson, David Sirota on party loyalty:
When I was working to successfully elect a Democratic governor, @MikeBloomberg was speaking at the GOP convention helping Bush win reelection.— David Sirota (@davidsirota) February 19, 2020
So spare me your pious lectures telling me I don't meet your party loyalty test. I've done more to elect Dems than 99% of my critics.