Latest reporting from WaPo: Some top Sanders advisers urge him to consider withdrawing
“Top Sanders advisers” includes his own campaign manager and his strategist:
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.
Bernie seems to be warming to the idea, though he wants to wait until after the Wisconsin primary (at last report, still on schedule for Tuesday, though all sides seem to be doing their best to make it as chaotic as possible).
One of the people with knowledge of the situation said they believe Sanders has warmed to the idea of bowing out in the near future, since he has been unable to make up any ground on Biden and is bracing for another potential landslide loss in Wisconsin, a state he won four years ago. One of the people predicted that if Sanders loses Wisconsin by more than 15 points, he probably would get out of the race and get behind Biden.
That loss appears quite likely to happen:
Polls have consistently shown Biden with a commanding lead over Sanders. A survey of Wisconsin, which has opted to move forward with its primary this week, showed Sanders trailing the former vice president by 28 points.
Biden for his part has been careful to treat Bernie with courtesy and respect, and not to be seen as pushing him — though he has publicly announced he’s starting his search for a VP candidate, and has told Bernie this.
(Apropos which: Contrast Obama’s searching for and vetting his VP choice with those of McCain and Trump. Biden is, of course, following the Obama model.)
OK, I really did think Bernie would get out of the race after the last set of primaries, so I’m off in that prediction. But it does look like he’s edging there.