Washington (CNN) – Multiple senior Democratic sources say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stepped into the battle between Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, for the number two Democratic leadership post, and is personally trying to negotiate a compromise. The sources say her goal is to avoid forcing the caucus to cast what many fear could be divisive votes.
"The speaker and everyone else think it's good to settle this quickly." said one of the senior Democratic sources with knowledge of the private conversations.
Sources close to both Hoyer and Clyburn confirm the two top Democrats have been speaking to Pelosi, but it's unclear where those conversations are going.
Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami tells CNN, "In the course of the preparation for the lame duck, the Speaker has had conversations with Mr. Hoyer and Mr. Clyburn and other members of the leadership and she wants them both to be in leadership."
One idea floating among senior House Democrats is that one of them would take the number two job of House Minority Whip, and the other would take the number three spot of House Caucus Chairman.
A source close to Clyburn tells CNN that the South Carolina Democrat doesn't want to do anything that would squeeze out either of the other two men already in leadership: Xavier Becerra and John Larson.
And the fact that Clyburn is the highest ranking African American in Congress is increasingly becoming an issue.
The Congressional Black Caucus issued a statement Tuesday afternoon formally endorsing Clyburn for House Minority Whip.
"With our country at a crossroads, it is vitally important that we have a leadership team in place that recognizes and reflects the strength and diversity of both the Democratic Caucus and our great nation," read the statement announcing the decision.
At this point, sources close to both men still insist each has the upper hand in terms of support from the caucus for the House Minority Whip post.
Hoyer has been releasing a steady stream of endorsements to illustrate he has support from a broad spectrum of the caucus.
Clyburn has been more reluctant to specify who has given him assurances. A Clyburn aide insists that's not because he doesn't have as much support as Hoyer, but because it's not Clyburn's style.
In a comment to "The Hill" newspaper, Clyburn himself appeared annoyed at Hoyer's tactics, saying "I don't see how you maintain a comfort level for all of our members by rolling out these names. I don't think it does the process any real good. I've never done it, I'm not going to do it."
Aside from that comment, and despite the high stakes battle between Clyburn and Hoyer, aides to both insist that even behind the scenes, it has remained remarkably calm and free of the typical trash- talking you normally see in close leadership elections.