Some Southern Democrats Say Sanders Nomination Would Hurt Down-Ballot Candidates

Party leaders in Carolinas, Florida worry about a democratic socialist as the Democratic nominee

As competition to win over African-American voters heats up in the 2020 election, WSJ’s Joshua Jamerson sat down with eight black voters in rural Georgia to discuss which candidates’ messages are resonating. Photo: Brad Hayes for The Wall Street Journal

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—Some Democrats in Southern states from North Carolina to Florida are anxious about Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic presidential nomination, saying it could jeopardize a closely-won governor’s seat, reverse recent gains in state legislatures and turn what might be competitive congressional races into GOP landslides.

South Carolina House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford said Mr. Sanders, who has surged to the top of the national polls in the Democratic presidential primary, would bomb with South Carolina...