Democratic presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke told a crown of would-be supporters in New Hampshire that he believed winning Texas in the 2020 presidential election was very doable, if he became his party’s nominee.
The bold statement followed an even bolder 24-hour fundraising total of $6.1 million raised, as the Progressive rising start began traversing the First Primary state shortly after announcing is presidential intentions.
“Yes, I think we can win Texas…I think we’ve proven that we know how to campaign. … We’ve listened to the stories our fellow Texans have told us. We’ve incorporated it in the way that we campaign and the way in which I wish to serve.”(BETO O’Rourke-Washington Examiner)
O’Rourke, who was able to raise $80 million dollars for his campaign, lost to Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 senate mid-term elections by less than 3 percentage points.
There is a chance O’Rourke can pick up Texas, but historically, it seems almost impossible considering the past presidential election outcomes.
Also, take into consideration that 2018 was somewhat of a “wave” year for Democrats, as now-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats were able to take majority control after picking up 40 seats.
The minority party almost always does better than the majority power in a mid-term elections, but presidential elections are much different.
More voters come out to polls during presidential elections, and that fact can be expected to reoccur in 2020.
Both 2012 and 2016 Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney and Donald Trump handily defeated their Democratic Party opponents in Texas.
Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by nearly 9 percent of the vote in 2016, while Romney crushed President Obama by about 16 percentage points in 2012.
8 million Texans came out to vote in those two respective presidential elections, as well as in the 2018 senate race between Cruz and O’Rourke.
So, O’Rourke may have a pathway to victory in Texas, if he becomes his party’s nominee in 2020.
Look at how Texans broke in the senate race. The bulk of O’Rourke’s support came from the Dallas and Houston hubs, as well as the very southern border region of the state.
In the end, this, like every other race will come down to the issues. The big issue in Texas is border security.
Right now, Democrats appear to be losing the border wall/security issue, but all that could change in the coming 19 months.