NEW YORK —While donors and operatives have joined in praise of Sen. Kamala Harris’s leadership, some close to the California Democrat have cautioned her not to close the door on other presidential campaigns, saying she should explore other options if the organization grows too large or narrows its options.
Some of her allies said Ms. Harris should press ahead regardless, including if she is the only viable Democrat to win New Hampshire. Others have argued that she should set a higher bar, such as debating one woman as the Republican nominee, and judge her own record against that of her predecessors to gauge if she would fit in a broader party.
The unease has grown because aides and advisers to the junior senator from California have grown concerned about a staff shake-up that could sap momentum before she can formally declare her candidacy.
Ms. Harris has already fired several top aides, including her chief of staff, who was in talks to join the staff of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, whom Ms. Harris was recruiting for an exploratory campaign.
But Ms. Harris and her new chief of staff, Roger Salazar, have also roiled the Democratic establishment, such as Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, who told The Washington Post he was looking for more information about Ms. Harris’s plans after a meeting with her Thursday morning.