Establishment Democratic donors have been mulling what a late presidential bid by Hillary Clinton would mean for the 2020 race.
At a recent dinner in Manhattan’s Whitby Hotel, several high-dollar donors also mused about whether power players like Michelle Obama or former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg could be convinced to throw their hat into the crowded Democratic primary, the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Clinton and Bloomberg have both reportedly expressed privately that they would enter the race if they thought they would be successful, but doubted such an opening would arise. Former Attorney General Eric Holder, former Secretary of State John Kerry, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio have also contemplated jumping in but are unlikely to do so at this point.
“There’s more anxiety than ever,” said Brown’s wife, nationally syndicated columnist Connie Schultz. “We’re both getting the calls. I’ve been surprised by some who’ve called me.”
The nervousness comes amid Democratic donors’ frustration with the current array of candidates and increasing doubts that any are suitable individually as the party’s nominee.
Former frontrunner Joe Biden has lost the hefty lead he enjoyed during the first months of his campaign, allowing Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren to pass him in the polls. Donors have expressed worry that even if Warren snags the Democratic nomination, she may not be the most viable candidate to challenge President Trump due to her far-left policy commitments.
Meanwhile, Biden’s campaign is hemorrhaging funding with only $9 million in cash on hand despite raising over $22 million since announcing his campaign in April. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who trails Warren, currently has about $34 million while Warren has $26 million.
The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee, meanwhile, have raised over $300 million and have $158 million in cash on hand for his reelection, more than any other incumbent president at this stage of campaign season.