Minutes after former Florida Governor Jeb Bush announced he was ending his bid for the White House, reports started coming in of donors rushing behind Marco Rubio. One donor described it as a “stampede” to get behind the Sen. Marco Rubio.
“It’s a clear path,” said Gaylord Hughey, a major Jeb Bush fundraiser from Texas.
“Jeb’s network is already naturally migrating to Marco Rubio,” he continued, echoing what 4 other donors have said.
“It’s a stampede,” added another donor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he wanted to give Jeb Bush some time after dropping his bid for the Oval Office before he went public with his support of Marco Rubio.
Marco Rubio has yet to win any of the three Republican nominating contest. But his strong finish in the top three spots has deep-pocketed donors looking at him twice. Many Republican strategies view Marco Rubio as the best candidate to challenge GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who is not liked by many in Washington.
The news that many of Jeb Bush’s major donors might rally behind Marco Rubio comes at a convenient time for Rubio’s campaign. The Senator from Florida faces multiple competitions in the SEC primary, also known as Super Tuesday. Many of the states that hold their primary on Super Tuesday are considered crucial for Rubio to build momentum behind his campaign.
Brian Ballard, who raised money for Bush last year but switched allegiances last summer to Rubio, said: “It’s flooding tonight.”
“Ninety-five percent of Jeb’s money is going to end up with Marco,” he added.
According to reports from the Federal Election Commission, Marco Rubio had only $5 million in cash on hand at the end of January, a slim buffer by modern campaign standards.