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Sanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids

Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster 'Almost Heaven, West Virginia' — Joe Manchin and a 50-50 Senate Biden to seek minimum wage in COVID-19 proposal MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPorter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Nine, including former Michigan governor, charged over Flint water crisis | Regulator finalizes rule forcing banks to serve oil, gun companies | Trump admin adds hurdle to increase efficiency standards for furnaces, water heaters DeVos mulled unilateral student loan forgiveness as COVID-19 wracked economy: memo MORE (D-Mass.) met Wednesday night amid speculation that each will run for president, but reportedly did not seek to coordinate their ambitions. 

While both senators are anticipated to throw their hat into a crowded ring of Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination in 2020, neither sought the support of the other or tried to dissuade the other from running, two Democrats briefed on the discussion told The New York Times.

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Sanders and Warren are known to be close and speak frequently.

“I talk to Elizabeth Warren every single day,” Sanders said Thursday on MSNBC. “The fact that two senators get together to chat becomes a big deal, that’s a real problem for the media.” 

The similarities between the two progressive candidates have raised concerns among the progressive base that competing candidates fighting over the same issues could divide key constituencies needed to ultimately take back the White House. 

“They both deserve to make up their own mind,” Rep. James McGovernJames (Jim) Patrick McGovernHouse Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis Cleaver: 'Awoman' ending to prayer meant to recognize record number of women in Congress House approves rules package for new Congress MORE (D-Mass.) told The Times. “It would be wrong for any of us to say, ‘well you’re the better progressive.’ We can all make up our minds, that’s what primaries are for.”

However, the two would likely be entering a jam-packed field of Democratic primary candidates, several of whom have already positioned themselves to appeal to the grassroots progressives. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who burst onto the national stage after a competitive Senate race in Texas and has not ruled out a presidential bid of his own, beat out both Sanders and Warren in a straw poll of members of the progressive group MoveOn.org.

Sanders ran a competitive primary campaign against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFor Joe Biden, an experienced foreign policy team Millennials and the great reckoning on race Biden chooses Amanda Gorman as youngest known inaugural poet MORE in 2016 and largely maintains strong support among activists, but has struggled with support among the Democratic establishment.

Warren is known for her economic policies and criticism of Wall Street. The Times noted she has separated herself from Sanders in part by labeling herself a capitalist. But she has also faced some opposition within her home state, where The Boston Globe published a searing editorial urging her to stay out of the presidential race.