Beto O’Rourke is headed to Iowa this weekend, fueling speculation that the former Texas congressman and fundraising wunderkind will soon officially enter the packed Democratic primary race.
The potential presidential candidate is expected to be in the state on Saturday to knock on doors for Eric Giddens, a Democratic candidate facing off against Republican Walt Rogers in a March 19 special election for state senate, according to Jonah Hermann, a spokesperson for the Iowa Democratic Party.
“At this point, all signs point to a run,” Hermann said. “He won’t come to Iowa in March for the weather.”
O’Rourke will not be the only high profile Democrat in the state this weekend. Also campaigning for Giddens will be Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., both of whom have formally declared as presidential candidates, Hermann said.
CNN was first to report on O’Rourke’s plans to visit the state. Representatives for O’Rourke and Giddens did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Iowa caucuses are the first contest in the Democratic primary, which makes the state crucial to the fortunes of presidential hopefuls.
Though O’Rourke, 46, has not officially entered the race, he is a consistent favorite in the polls.
More Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents support O’Rourke than support either Booker or Klobuchar, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Monday, which found O’Rourke in fifth place.
Conservatives have taken note. The Club for Growth, which advocates for lower taxes, is expected to begin airing attack ads in Iowa against O’Rourke this week, Politico reported on Sunday.
O’Rourke narrowly lost a race for the U.S. Senate to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in November following an expensive and unexpectedly tight battle.