While Hillary is ready to take on Donald Trump one on one, she is not pushing the Vermont senator to exit the race before he is ready. Democrats close to Clinton insure that this will continue to be the case. This is because those inside the Democratic establishment believe that this will make it much more difficult further down the line to unite the party. It will cause a divide between Hillary and Bernie supporters.
The Sanders supporters have been excited to rally around him. Hillary needs to be able to transition these into Hillary voters once Sanders pulls out of the race. Treating the Sanders campaign and its followers more respectful give a better chance for this to happen. There have already been steps taken in this direction, with Hillary saying she will support the Sanders supporters even if they do not support her.
As recent as Wednesday, Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that she has no goal of pushing Sanders campaign to stop. “I’m not calling myself that (the presumptive nominee),” the Democratic front runner said. “I know there are some contests ahead and I respect Sen. Sanders and whatever choices he’s making. And I have a lot of empathy about this, Anderson. You know, I ran to the very end in 2008.”
President Obama agrees with this stance.
While the contest between Clinton and Sanders is moving along, those within the Democratic party are preparing as if Hillary will be the winner. Sanders is going to keep on campaigning across the country, including a stop in West Virginia today (Thursday). Not only will Hillary continue to campaign for every upcoming primary, but she will also head to the battleground states for the general election.
One concern within the Democratic establishment is that this enables Trump to aim his focus to 100% Hillary. This could possibly result in hurting her early and not allowing her image to be further rehabilitated.