Don’t look now, but twice-failed Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke may be back for a third run at Washington, D.C.
Supporters of the former Congressman (and former Texas Senate candiate and former Democratic presidential candidate) are reportedly trying to convince O’Rourke to jump in the Democratic primary to challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) at the eleventh hour — a move that would displace a handful of Democrats who have been running for the opportunity to take on Cornyn for several months.
But, the Dallas Morning News reports, there is no candidate in the race that truly presents a challenge to Cornyn and Texas Democrats are rather convinced that O’Rourke is their best chance to unseat the longtime Republican Senator.
“Poll after poll shows Cornyn would trounce the dozen or so contenders for the Democratic nomination at this point. None can touch the near-universal name recognition O’Rourke enjoys among Texas Democrats after his near-miss against Sen. Ted Cruz last year,” according to the Dallas outlet.
O’Rourke’s supporters even went so far as to commission a poll, testing whether O’Rourke would be competitive against Cornyn. Unfortunately for O’Rourke, though, it doesn’t seem he’d win, though he would fare better than the current crop of contenders.
“[A] new poll commissioned by backers worried that the current crop of candidates would fall short shows that O’Rourke is by far the top choice of Democratic voters in Texas at 58%, with the runner-up, state Sen. Royce West of Dallas at 13%…The poll also shows [O’Rourke] in a near-tie, trailing Cornyn 46-42 at this point, which is far stronger than others already seeking the nomination.”
O’Rourke’s campaign operation is currently dormant, and it doesn’t appear he shares the enthusiasm of his supporters — and, as the Dallas News points out, Beto O’Rourke specifically took a pass on taking on Cornyn in order to run for president, a move that some Texas Democrats interpreted as O’Rourke abandoning the state party for a more lucrative national career.
To get back into Texas Democrats’ good graces, O’Rourke has been quietly pushing an effort to flip the Texas House, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“A month after ending his presidential campaign, Democrat Beto O’Rourke has turned his attention to state politics — namely, an effort to help flip the Texas House of Representatives from Republican control to the Democrats,” the Chronicle reports. “With Texas Democrats nine seats away from retaking the majority of seats in the Texas House, O’Rourke is trying to convince his donor base to send money to an organization called Flip The Texas House, which has targeted 17 House Districts in which Republican candidates won by fewer than 10 percentage points last year. More than half are districts in which O’Rourke won the majority of votes as he ran for U.S. Senate.”
O’Rourke has even sent out emails on behalf of the “Flip Texas House” effort, pushing some of the same themes he pushed in his presidential campaign. In his latest missive, O’Rourke claims a Democratic Texas House would mean “an end to racist gerrymandering, and a chance to address gun violence, reproductive rights, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice and climate change in Texas.”
Texas has come close to flipping before, but O’Rourke is just the latest in a long line of Democrats to fall short of expectations there.