After losing his Texas senate race to Republican Ted Cruz, Beto O’Rourke seems to have a new calling, according to Democrats.
Although disappointing, O’Rourke’s loss means one important thing to the party: He is free to run for president in the 2020 elections. And according to the Hill, this is a popular option among the Democrats.
When O’Rourke started his campaign leading up to the midterms on November 6, he was seen as somewhat of a rising star, and even before the elections took place, many were touting him for a presidential run in the not too distant future. His loss should not mar the possibility of a 2020 run, per the Democratic party.
Although the red state wasn’t likely to change, O’Rourke managed to come within just three percentage points of Cruz in the midterms, a margin almost unheard of in Texas in the Senate race of recent years. Following that success, Democrats feel he would “take the primaries by storm” in 2020 should he choose to run for president.
“If he wants to run, he should do it,” said Democratic strategist Maria Cardona. “He now has name recognition, a widely successful fundraising operation, a young fresh face with a sprinkling of woke, a cool persona, a new perspective, he speaks Spanish and would be an exciting and upbeat candidate.”
Hear me now, believe me later, Beto O'Rourke will be the next Democrat to be elected President. Beto just threw a 55,000 person rally down in Texas with the help of Willie Nelson and others. Don't get it wrong, Willie wasn't the draw, it is all about Beto O'Rourke BE TO beat Cruz pic.twitter.com/45OACKCQCi— Muckmaker™ (@RealMuckmaker) October 1, 2018
Republicans were equally surprised by the near-miss in Texas, with Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist in the state, calling his run “impressive.”
“He was able to raise an enormous [amount] of money and that alone separates him from the crowd. He has a bit of a star quality to him. People in Texas were mesmerized and moved by him. The fact that he lost by 3 percent is impressive.”
Although most in O’Rourke’s situation may decide to go back to the drawing board and find a different career path, the huge wave of support across the country and certainly within the Democratic party might just spur the three-time Congressman on to make a run for the White House in 2020.
Despite his popularity, some believe it’s just too big a jump.
“It’s hard to know what he should do,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “It’s not that he’s not an attractive candidate. It’s just that making a jump from a losing Senate race to a winning presidential race when you’ve got two dozen competitors and Donald Trump. Show me an example of that. It doesn’t mean he can’t do it, you just don’t see a path.”
So far, it doesn’t appear as if O’Rourke has any plans to run for president, having stated just last week that he won’t be making a bid for the post. Strategists feel he would be “missing a prime opportunity” if he decides to give it a miss, and would leave his endorsements for a ravenous field of candidates to fight over.