On Thursday the former Democratic congressional representative from Texas, Beto O’Rourke, released a three and a half minute long video announcing his candidacy for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. He will be the 15th Democrat to toss in their hat for the 2020 presidential bid, and already contains the second largest donor network among Democrats, behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Despite losing to Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the 2018 senate election, the charismatic 46-year old out of El Paso managed to raise a record amount ever for a senate campaign, and only lost to the incumbent Cruz by only 3%. Considering that he was looked at as a “longshot” candidate starting out, in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat for statewide office since 1994, that’s pretty impressive run. Another impressive feat from his senate run was that $20 million came from outside of the state, which marks his nationwide popularity among the Democrats.
Aside from the Kennedy-like charm, another aspect that makes him such an electable figure is his voting record. Although he champions some pretty liberal causes like gun control and universal healthcare, his voting record is 30.1% in line with the president. This paints him more along the lines of a centrist for many, who’s fluidity between party lines may actually secure the presidency for the Democrats. However, others view it as shady, and not supportive enough of the progressive movement. Jokes have gone as far as claiming him to be a Republican in disguise.
With the public spotlight shining down on him for some time now, and with no seat in Washington at the present moment to show for it, we’ll learn how his platform shapes out in these next coming months. Currently, Beto has started off his campaign trail with a three day trip to Iowa, to encouragement of party unity. It awaits to be seen if he’ll see the same nationwide support this time around.