• April 19, 2019

O’Rourke to rally in his native Texas, where tough 2020 presidential primary awaits


(Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke will maintain marketing campaign rallies on Saturday in his dwelling state of Texas, the place he faces far completely different challenges within the 2020 race from these of his underdog U.S. Senate run in 2018.

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Consultant Beto O’Rourke speaks throughout a marketing campaign cease at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, New Hampshire, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Picture

O’Rourke’s marketing campaign hopes the previous congressman’s private ties to delegate-rich Texas give him a crucial early increase within the giant Democratic subject combating for the celebration’s nomination to problem Republican President Donald Trump.

However the main is hardly a lock for the native son.

Within the unexpectedly shut race towards incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz that earned O’Rourke nationwide prominence final 12 months, he was the lone Democrat competing towards a Republican determine reviled by Democrats nationally.

Now, O’Rourke, 46, faces a various slate of completed and well-funded rivals searching for a similar votes, particularly among the many state’s African-American and Hispanic communities.

“It’s a a lot completely different animal this time,” stated Colin Strother, a Texas-based Democratic strategist who has labored on state and federal races however is unaffiliated with a 2020 presidential marketing campaign.

“He’s going to have rivals who’re girls candidates, girls of coloration, male candidates of coloration, coverage consultants. He can’t marketing campaign on the nostalgia of practically beating Ted Cruz.”

Texas is a giant prize within the Democratic presidential nominating battle. The state is certainly one of many holding main votes on “Tremendous Tuesday” on March three. California moved its main as much as that date, giving extra affect to minority voters within the nation’s two most populous states than in current election cycles.

There are a mixed 82 delegates up for grabs in predominately white Iowa and New Hampshire, the primary two states to vote, based on the Democratic Nationwide Committee, which oversees the nominating contest.

Texas and California have a mixed 757. To grow to be the nominee, a candidate should accumulate 1,885 delegates.

Democratic rival Kamala Harris, a U.S. senator from California and the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, has made clear she intends to compete in Texas. Final week, her occasion at a traditionally black school in Houston drew a big crowd of blacks, Hispanics and whites.

Texas can be dwelling to Julian Castro, one other presidential contender who served as mayor of San Antonio. Castro, who’s Hispanic, has acquired help from three dozen elected and appointed Democrats from throughout Texas.

O’Rourke’s marketing campaign didn’t reply to an e mail requesting remark in regards to the Texas main.

O’Rourke, who launched his White Home marketing campaign on March 14, returns to Texas after barnstorming early voting states together with Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. He’ll maintain rallies on Saturday in his hometown of El Paso, in addition to Houston and Austin.

His marketing campaign stated greater than 1,000 watch events have been being held throughout the nation to view the occasions by way of livestream.

‘STILL FORMIDABLE’

Juan Carlos Huerta, professor of political science at Texas A&M College-Corpus Christi, stated O’Rourke had a bonus within the Texas main due to his statewide community and fundraising prowess.

O’Rourke smashed fundraising information as a Senate candidate and raised $6.1 million within the first 24 hours of his presidential marketing campaign, the most important first-day haul of any introduced candidate this 12 months.

“He’s in an excellent place. He’s nonetheless formidable,” Huerta stated.

Some Democratic strategists stated O’Rourke didn’t marketing campaign laborious sufficient to win the help of minority voters in his final contest and must work to alter the notion that he took them without any consideration.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Consultant Beto O’Rourke listens to a query from the viewers throughout a marketing campaign cease at Popovers Bakery and Cafe in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Ernest Bromley, managing director of Pescador Public Methods, a political messaging agency focusing on Latinos, stated O’Rourke had floor to make up after underperforming with Latino voters, notably alongside the border with Mexico.

“He went to the big Hispanic counties, the border counties, and he would do these huge rallies. After which he’d go away,” Bromley stated, including there was no sustained effort to end up the Latino vote on Election Day.

“Final 12 months, I believe O’Rourke might have carried out a lot better with ethnic voters,” Bromley stated. “The candidates that do give attention to the ethnic vote in 2020 will do effectively in Texas. It’s going to be actually attention-grabbing.”

Reporting by Tim Reid in Los Angeles; Modifying by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney

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