Schumer and Ellison “spoke yesterday," Schumer spokesperson Matt House told ABC News. "Without a Democratic White House, Schumer’s view is the DNC is where grassroots organizing in sync with legislative battles should be organized.”
Progressive grassroots organizations such as ‘People for Bernie’ and ‘MoveOn’ have been quick to lobby for Ellison too and are circulating petitions.
If Ellison wins the post, which could be decided as early as next month, it would signal a significant shift by the party toward embracing a Sanders-style progressive agenda in the wake of a bruising election loss that has left Democrats with a massive identity crisis. In some ways, Clinton’s loss emboldened the party's left-wing members, who argue that their candidates and message excited voters more than hers and that they are more prepared to take on a Trump presidency.
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, has not formally announced that he wants the job, but has said he will make an announcement of some kind on Monday. The congressman met with activists Thursday night about the election results and possible next steps.
“We can present a very clear alternative to the American people as to what we could have if we organize and engage,” Ellison said. “We have to use the First Amendment ... to oppose Trump and Trumpism at every turn.”
In addition, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a former presidential contender, said he was “taking a hard look” at the role too.
According to the emails posted on Wikileaks this month, many of Clinton’s top advisers seemed to like former Michigan Governor Jen Granholm for the job of DNC Chair. Other names floated include New Hampshire Party Chair Ray Buckley and South Carolina Party Chair Jamie Harrison.
Even beyond the attention to who will chair the party committee, both Sanders and Warren have made a point of being visible in the press and to the pubic during this week when so many other Democrats have stayed out of the spotlight.
Sanders said during an interview with CNN Thursday that he understands voters are angry about, what he calls, a decline of middle-class jobs. “But we have got to channel that anger against the people who caused the decline of the middle class and so many people living in poverty, not take it out on our neighbors, who may happen to be Muslim or Latino or women. That is demagoguery.”
“I think he can play a big role,” Sanders’ spokesperson Michael Briggs told ABC News. “He really connects somehow with people … they are looking for leadership.”
Warren gave a stern, passionate speech to AFL-CIO union folks Thursday, where she argued that Democrats' first job in the “new era” is to stand up to Trump’s “bigotry.”
“There is no compromise here … Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever,” she said.ABC News' Ben Siegel contributed to this report.