Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) announced that he is not considering dropping out of the presidential race to run for Senate again.
O’Rourke has been struggling to break through on the national stage, despite a strong entry into the race. Since his initial presidential announcement, via Vanity Fair, O’Rourke plummeted in the polls, often struggling to earn more than 1%. He’s also struggled to stand out during the crowded Democratic primary debates.
Because his presidential bid has been less than inspiring, many have hoped he would reconsider his senate bid. O’Rourke failed to defeat Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018, but Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is up for reelection in 2020. Some believe O’Rourke is one of the few Texas Democrats who could give Cornyn a good run.
Even the Houston Chronicle published an editorial begging O’Rourke to drop out of the 2020 race to run in Texas. The editorial board wrote:
“So Beto, if you’re listening: Come home. Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.”
O’Rourke himself somewhat added to the speculation, though it may not have been intentional, by leaving the campaign trail to spend time in El Paso, Texas, following the horrific mass shooting at the hands of a white supremacist.
But on Thursday, O’Rourke held a press conference in El Paso to announce that he would not be leaving the presidential race because he still believes he is the only candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump, who O’Rourke blamed for the El Paso shooting.
Watch O’Rourke’s comments:
“I’ve got to tell you, there’s some part of me and it’s a big part of me, that wants to stay here and be with my family and be with my community. I love El Paso. There have even been some who’ve suggested that I stay in Texas and run for Senate. But that would not be good enough for this community. That would not be good enough for El Paso. That would not be good enough for this country. We must take the fight directly to the source of this problem. That person who has caused this pain and placed this country in this moment of peril and that is Donald Trump.”
O’Rourke received a tepid round of applause when he announced he wouldn’t be dropping out.
Although he’s not leaving the presidential race, O’Rourke did announce a shakeup to his campaign strategy. Instead of focusing on the early states like Iowa and New Hampshire, he plans to spend time in cities “where Donald Trump has been terrorizing and terrifying and demeaning [his] fellow Americans.”
His first campaign stop out of El Paso will be to areas of Mississippi that were impacted by the recent mass deportations.