Individuals raising and spending funds to determine whether to run for President in 2020--i.e., testing the waters--must use only funds raised under 2020 campaign contribution limits. Violations of these "testing the waters" funding requirements have become commonplace and have worsened in recent presidential election cycles, while the FEC has simply refused to enforce the law. Are any of these Dem staffers doing work to help their bosses decide whether to run? Sure sounds like it from this POLITICO piece, 2020 Dems Staff Up.
The hiring stage of the 2020 shadow primary is underway. At least a dozen possible Democratic presidential candidates have begun bolstering their teams by adding aides with campaign experience to their Senate staffs, personal offices or 2018 reelection payrolls.