‘It was like Beatlemania, for God’s sake….’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Democrats want Beto O’Rourke to run for president in 2020, despite his inability to win his recent, well-funded campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Six days after O’Rourke lost to Cruz, Iowa Democratic voters invited him to visit Des Moines—one of the main pit-stops in any president campaign. Rumors even circulated that O’Rourke was already there, and voters went crazy.
“People were going crazy trying to figure where he was and what I knew and where he might be going,” Sean Bagniewski, chairman of the Polk County Democrats, told Dallas News. “It was like Beatlemania, for God’s sake. It was like all weekend long, supposed sightings. … There’s definitely some electricity there.”
Many Democrats believe O’Rourke has a shot at the presidency because he was short by just 2.6 percent in the midterm elections—closer than any other Democratic candidate has come before.
A poll by Politico reveals that O’Rourke is third on Democratic voters’ hopeful presidential candidates, just behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But not all Democrats think O’Rourke has a shot.
“Those are the names people know. I put very little stock in the predictive value of polls taken at this point,” said Andrew E. Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. “It’s probably just a reflection of the media attention he’s gotten the last month or so.”
Still, “Beto 2020” and “Beto for President” posters and yard signs have popped up across the state of Texas, reported Dallas News. The hashtag #BetoforPresident is even circulating on Twitter.
O’Rourke hasn’t confirmed or denied interest in running again in 2020. In an email to supporters after the election, O’Rourke thanked voters for their support.
“The loss is bitter,” he wrote. “Certainly, we changed something in Texas and in our politics. At the very least our campaign reflected a change already underway in Texas that hadn’t yet been seen in statewide campaigns. Future campaigns will be won, influenced by the one we built. Candidates will run who otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Perplexingly, although O’Rourke topped the list of all congressional candidates for the amount of money he received during the 2018 midterms—nearly $70 million, according to OpenSecrets.org—he seemed to direct criticism at candidates for accepting donations from political action committees, implying that it made them disingenuous and insincere to be beholden to other interests.
“Some will take heart in knowing that you don’t have to accept PAC money, you don’t have to hire a pollster to know how you think or what you want to say,” he wrote. “… Just know that I want to be part of the best way forward for this country—whatever way I can help in whatever form that takes.”