Scarane is one of more than a half-dozen progressive House and Senate challengers — almost all of them millennials — who have said publicly that they believe Reade’s claim that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 when she worked as his Senate aide or otherwise spoke out in support of her. Though most are long-shot candidates with limited resources, their remarks could stoke division at a time when Biden is trying to unite the party’s warring factions. Their stance also risks exposing a rift between some younger and older Democrats as Biden works to strengthen his position as the Democratic nominee.

“There is a generational component,” said Peter Daou, a progressive consultant who has advised some Democratic candidates who said they support Reade. “This is part of the entire divide between people who came to politics through Bernie Sanders, principled progressivism, leftism. What I’ve found is that for these types of activists and voters, there tends to be less willingness to be either incremental or to compromise with the Republican Party. It’s a belief that the way we win is by adhering very firmly to our principles.”…

Several of the progressive challengers who believe Reade said they are concerned about Biden’s ability to defeat President Donald Trump, who has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by multiple women, because of the allegation. But Rebecca Parson, who is running against Washington Democratic Rep. Derek Kilmer, is one of the few who has called for Biden to withdraw from the race. She wants his delegates to be reallocated, and for other Democratic candidates to restart their campaigns so the party can nominate someone else.