Dem bundler: Donors waiting on 2020 commitments until Beto O'Rourke makes decision

A major Democratic fundraising bundler says party donors are holding off on contributions to any potential presidential contenders until rising star Beto O’RourkeBeto O’RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats’ virtual convention: report O’Rourke on Texas reopening: ‘Dangerous, dumb and weak’ Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE decides whether he is running in 2020.

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“They’re not wanting to sign on to other presidential campaigns until they know whether Beto is going,” Mikal Watts told Politico. “And if Beto is running, what good progressive Democrat wouldn’t want to work for Beto O’Rourke?”

O’Rourke, a three-term congressman from Texas, lost his Senate campaign to incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) by 3 points earlier this month. The race was surprisingly heated and tight for deep-red Texas. He told TMZ on Friday that he has not made any decisions yet about running.

The Texas Democrat’s campaign mobilized and excited voters across the country as millions tuned in to his social media-driven run. O’Rourke ultimately raised more than $70 million for his campaign, boasting an eye-popping $38 million haul in the third quarter.  

“All the guy would have to do is send out an email to his fundraising base … and he raises $30 million,” a West Coast bundler told Politico. “It completely changes the game if Beto runs. And he should run … He’s Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHarris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden Valerie Jarrett: ‘Democracy depends upon having law enforcement’ MORE, but white.”

The next Democratic presidential primary is expected to be crowded, but many say an obvious frontrunner has not yet emerged. Other possible contenders include Sens. Elizbeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.). 

“People across the country just fell in love with [O’Rourke],” Democratic strategist Christian Archer told Politico. “He was able to raise national-level money, and that’s just such a distinct advantage.”

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“There’s a fuse on that, and the question is how long will that last if he doesn’t make a move within a window of time,” Archer added.

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