Poll: Beto O’Rourke is MoveOn front runner for 2020 presidential race
A MoveOn.org straw poll on Tuesday revealed that Democrats have a new front runner for the 2020 election. Marginally beating out Joe Biden is Beto O’Rourke, the Texas politician who challenged Sen. Ted Cruz for the Senate seat in Texas. The O’Rourke-Cruz Senate campaign of 2018 was the highest spending campaign in the history of congressional races. O’Rourke generated over $69 million.
Although O’Rourke is the front runner named candidate in the poll, with 15.6% of respondents favoring him, a greater number of Democrats appear to remain undecided about who to support in 2020. The top response of the poll with 17.89% was “Someone Else/Don’t Know” instead of any of the 33 potential candidates listed. O’Rourke was closely followed by former VP Joe Biden, who clocked in with 14.9 percent. Next in line was Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders with 13.1%.
O’Rourke certainly showcases the young energy Democrats so desperately need to match the energy of their voters, but Democrats also need someone with experience. O’Rourke may have the former, but he is lacking on the latter.
The typical voter had not heard of O’Rourke before the Texas Senate race. O’Rourke started his political career on the El Paso City Council, and then made his way to representing Texas’ 16th district. He has served three terms in the House of Representatives, and declined to run in 2018 so he could challenge Cruz for the Senate seat.
O’Rourke is definitely in a position to make a run for the presidency. He has no other political job at the moment, and a run for president will raise his national profile. The former congressman has not yet decided whether he would jump in the Democratic primary in 2020.
While voters say they like him now, it must be noted that he is currently the top choice of only 15 percent of Democratic voters. It will be difficult for him to remain in a centrist position if far-left opponents like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren run against him. If he does make it through to the general election, he will have to change course and appeal to Independent voters, who will likely have dropped their support for him by then.