The talks, which two sources described to The Daily Beast, are in their nascent stages, and have already hit a snag. Big money Democrats have shown reluctance at funding such an effort, which could consist of ads attacking Sanders, and institutions associated with Democratic politics have largely shied away from being part of any campaign that goes after the senator, either out of fear over the backlash or growing acceptance at the prospect of him becoming the party’s nominee…

The conversations have been driven by fear that Sanders could all but wrap up the nomination early in the campaign without having faced much pushback. Whereas in 2016, Sanders came under a barrage of attacks from Hillary Clinton over his voting record on guns and—more opaquely—the lack of diversity in his political coalition, the senator, who has significantly broadened that coalition since his last bid, has been relatively unchallenged this go around.

According to FEC records, the sum total of reported independent expenditures opposing Sanders—directly and by name—was just $32.72 as of Monday. And that was spent by Club for Growth, a conservative group that has also run digital ads that seem designed to actually boost Sanders among liberals and which supplemented those spots with a TV ad on Monday.