A small group of Bernie Sanders’s top aides and allies — including his campaign manager and his longtime strategist — have encouraged the independent senator from Vermont to consider withdrawing from the presidential race, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
The group includes campaign manager Faiz Shakir and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), a top Sanders surrogate and ally, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive private discussions.
Sanders himself has become more open to the prospect of dropping out, according to one of the people with knowledge of the situation and another close ally, especially if he suffers a significant defeat in Tuesday’s Wisconsin primary, which polls suggest Joe Biden will win handily.
Beyond Shakir and Jayapal, longtime strategist Jeff Weaver has privately made a case that exiting the race more quickly and on good terms with Biden would give Sanders more leverage in the long run, according to one of the people; the other said Weaver has used a light touch in presenting his case. Weaver and Jayapal did not return calls and messages seeking comment. Shakir declined to comment.