Could “Beto 2020” Happen?

Beto O’Rourke may have lost his election for a Senate seat in Texas, but for many supporters, this only means he now has the opportunity to run for president.

Beto O’Rourke recently ran as a Democrat for senator in Texas. He lost to opponent Ted Cruz in the November midterm election, 51 to 48 percent. A margin this low is rarely seen in a state as typically red as Texas. Judge Veronica Escobar from El Paso, Texas told Texas Monthly, “A Democrat who could win a Senate race in deep-red Texas would have to be a politician of such broad appeal and prodigious talents that party leaders would find it impossible not to try to draft him for a White House run.”

According to his campaign website, O’Rourke is a fourth generation Texan who attended Columbia University. After graduating, he started a technology company, served on El Paso’s city council, and also served on U.S Congress House Committees for Armed Services and Veterans Affairs. Though he lost his most recent election, many were moved by his campaign because of his dedication and following. Texas Monthly reported that he “visited all of Texas’ 254 counties, launched dozens of viral videos, became a national political celebrity, and raised more money than any Senate candidate in the history of the union” — so much so that a spark of hope has been ignited in many Democrats that he will try to run for president. Mikal Watts told Politico, “I can tell you that there has not been this kind of level of electric excitement about a candidate since Barack Obama ran in 2008.”


Courtesy of Richard W. Rodriguez/AP


People now are comparing O’Rourke to Abraham Lincoln, who initially lost his race for Senate around 1858 but ran and was elected president in 1860. Newsweek reported that O’Rourke has recently made some allusions to Lincoln as well, explaining how reading Lincoln's inaugural address on his memorial inspired Beto to persevere during a jog in Washington D.C.

One of Obama’s biggest supporters and donors, George Tsunis, told Politico that he was not totally convinced O’Rourke could replicate the money or fervor raised in Texas in a presidential race, mainly because many people were likely motivated by a huge opposition toward Ted Cruz.

If O’Rourke decides to try for a bid onto the Democratic presidential ticket, he'll be up against many other well-known democratic candidates with similar plans such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Some news outlets such as The Washington Examiner have suggested that O’Rourke should join one of these candidates and run as their vice president.

O’Rourke has also been urged to run for a Texas senator seat again in 2020 against John Cornyn; however, he hasn't officially confirmed nor denied any of these potential ideas yet. When asked about it, he told TMZ, “I haven’t made any decisions about running.”