In a confident and personal, minimal production video, Beto O’Rourke formally announced to Twitter that he is running for president.
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
O’Rourke is starting his campaign in Iowa today and is planning to be there for three days arranging all kinds of visits: a factory, a coffee shop, a Political Party Live podcast in Cedar Rapids, meetings with Latino Democratic leaders, Independence Public Library, and a house party. Beto will return to El Paso, Texas on March 30 for his kick-off rally.
Since Beto’s close Senate loss, his name has been buzzing about being a potential candidate. For quite a while, Beto wasn’t sure if he would run and took some time to take a road trip across America while keeping a public diary about his encounters. He also met with Former President Obama after the midterms, who he has often been compared to. More recently, he was interviewed by Oprah this past February.
Beto’s Senate campaign may shine a light on what we can expect from his presidential campaign. Beto was supported by urban Democrats and Democratic-leaners winning big cities like Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas. Texas votes also increased by 3.7 million compared to the midterm elections 4 years ago. Beto also has a large percentage of Latino voter support and won 64 percent of their vote.
Beto exhibits several appealing factors: he is able to “push progressive boundaries and motivate minority communities without alienating independent white suburban voters. O’Rourke also proved that he is amazing at fundraising bringing in $80 million during his Senate race, $37 million of which came from small donations and $20 million came from out-of-state donations. Beto also became quickly popular with his confident and friendly demeanor making him a favorite among talk show hosts and journalists and his viral response to why it is not disrespectful for NFL players to kneel in protest. Back in December, an Iowa poll put O’Rourke in third behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, a clear indicator that his national name recognition had grown. A more recent poll has shown that his favorability has fallen from 28% to 19%. It will be interesting to see how that number changes now that he has entered the race.
Beto will face several challenges. Women make up 58 percent of the Democratic primary electorate and black women make up 60 percent of the black vote. In such a diverse field, voters may be more inclined to vote for a candidate like Kamala Harris. Beto also lacks experience. His political history includes six years on the El Paso City Council and three terms as a Congressman. O’Rourke also has a criminal record, something he has always acknowledged. He was charged with a DWI when he was 26 years old. The biggest challenge that O’Rourke will face is whether he can run a successful national campaign. Unlike many candidates, O’Rourke does not have the connections that those candidates have built upon over the years.
Despite these possible setbacks, O’Rourke is ready to lead a positive campaign and says that they will build the greatest grassroots campaign this country has ever seen. Beto says that his campaign has already received donations from all 50 states and territories.
Click here to read the full 3/14/19 article by Clare Malone from FiveThirtyEight.
Click here to check out Beto O’Rourke campaign website.1 comment