Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke has decided not to run for Senate again but he is likely to announce a presidential bid soon, according to The Dallas Morning News.
Individuals briefed on the matter told the publication that O’Rourke will announce a campaign for president in the coming weeks. This was partially confirmed by the former El Paso congressman.
“Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country. We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”
Considered a midterm sensation when he came close to making a major upset and unseating the incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, O’Rourke has fallen out of the news cycle, but he appears to be making a comeback. Polls indicate that O’Rourke’s popularity has since dropped and not recovered, however.
According to University of Iowa political scientist Tim Hagle, that is about to change.
“It seems like his star was fading. That would be because he’s not in the news. I don’t know that O’Rourke has missed his opportunity, but he does need to get in the race,” he said.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojos and Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson have both urged O’Rourke to run for Senate, arguing that it would be better for the young Democrat to stay “Texas-focused.”
Problematic for O’Rourke, in an increasingly crowded and progressive Democratic pool of candidates, appears to be his refusal to embrace progressive policies and his centrist voting record.
The Guardian‘s analysis of O’Rourke’s voting record, published in December, revealed that the Texas Democrat frequently votes like a Republican. According to the publication’s analysis, O’Rourke frequently votes for Republican legislation and against his own party, and supports bills that boost the fossil fuel industry and President Donald Trump’s conservative immigration policies.
Beto O'Rourke says he has made up his mind about a 2020 presidential run and will announce his intentions "soon." https://t.co/6Ms25T2n6u— Bloomberg (@business) February 27, 2019
Furthermore, as detailed by a previous Inquisitr report, some progressive activists have urged the Democratic Party to “hit the pause button” on so-called Betomania — a term coined to describe O’Rourke’s midterm success — pointing out that O’Rourke hasn’t come out in support of “Medicare for All,” nor has he come out in support of free college and similar left-wing policies.
During the 2018 midterms, O’Rourke managed to break all fundraising records, which kick-started speculation about him eyeing a presidential bid. O’Rourke has reportedly already met with some of the Democratic Party’s most prolific donors, and a number of former President Barack Obama’s strongest backers has already pledged to fund the Texas Democrat’s campaign.
Prominent Democrats Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar have already announced their presidential bids. But so has the champion of populist and progressive policies, Bernie Sanders, who is considered to be the Democratic front-runner, according to The Atlantic.