(CBrief) – Democrats are increasingly nervous about the midterm elections, as evidenced by their unease over whether Nancy Pelosi should remain as Speaker.

Four years ago, as some Democrats opposed the Californian’s rise to the top House position, Pelosi vowed to only serve until 2022, but now she won’t say whether or not she will step down if her party manages to keep control over the chamber.

That doesn’t matter, however, as Democrats appear to be plotting behind the scenes to force her into retirement.

CNN has more on Pelosi’s 2018 deal:

The 2018 deal Pelosi agreed to with dissident members limiting her to four more years as speaker was an informal agreement, and caucus rules were never changed imposing any time limits on her tenure. Several members told CNN that if the midterms go well for their party, a combination of shocked euphoria and deference to both her fundraising prowess and the importance of female voters, could make them reconsider.

Several noted, though, that a surprising victory in holding the majority might be the perfect time for the exit that Pelosi has said she originally planned to make six years ago if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, and that any decision to stay would have to come with a clear timetable for leaving.

The outlet went on to report that Democrats are not in unison, by any means, regarding Pelosi’s future in leadership.

Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, whose border district has been overrun with illegal migrants since President Biden took office, nevertheless is counting on Pelosi for help to retain his seat and has said that he would “support her for whatever position,” CNN noted.

Another potentially vulnerable Texas Democrat, Rep. Vincente Gonzalez, said if Dems keep the House majority, Pelosi will “deserve” to keep her leadership position, “it’s as simple as that.” However, if the party loses the majority, as expected, that will be a “dynamics change” and that “changes the game,” he added.

But Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who has voted in the past for Pelosi as Speaker and has said she is “one of the most extraordinary Speakers in history,” went on to say: “It’s time for generational diversity of our leadership ranks – regardless of the outcome of the election.”

And Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J) added: “I certainly have long thought it’s time for new leadership…She’s done an incredible job, but we really do need to grow new leaders.”

“When you have the top three people in our caucus in their 80s. … There does need to be a new generation coming up and starting to lead. And that’s something that I think the Democratic Party shouldn’t be afraid of,” Sherrill said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a noted Pelosi critic, also weighed in: “I think if we’re in a minority, then I think that the desire for change will be broader, potentially within the party. But I think that desire exists.”

“We saw and heard that desire in the last two terms that Democrats were the majority, so it really is just a question of, not if people want that, but how many,” she noted further.

CNN said that privately, many Democrats have been bolder in their statements. “She has to go,” one told the outlet, anonymously.

Meanwhile, another California Democrat, House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff, is positioning himself as heir to Pelosi’s speakership if she chooses to retire after Republicans likely win back the House. Pelosi, for her part, has announced that she will seek re-election in November.

The Washington Post reports that Schiff’s efforts have “focused on consolidating support among his home base” in California, but that he “has not made an explicit ask for endorsements.”

Instead, the Post says Schiff “is gauging members’ interest and planting the seed that leading the caucus is his goal.”

The outlet adds that Schiff has reached out to progressive and minority-led congressional groups but that the response to some of that outreach has been “tepid.”

Other Democrats reportedly gunning to lead the House Democratic Caucus if Pelosi steps back include Democrat Reps. Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, and Hakeem Jeffries.