Beto O’Rourke paused his presidential campaign early this week after the massacre in El Paso. In the last week, he’s made it his mission to speak on behalf of the people of his hometown. O’Rourke has been bringing comfort to to those in his former congressional district, standing up to the president and advocating against hate. A fellow Democratic candidate even acknowledged this in a speech Friday.
It’s been impressive to watch O’Rourke defend his city and target the president with an authentic directness about Trump’s incitement of white nationalist acts of violence.
This has led a lot of people to ask him to switch his future plans and focus his full attention on the Lone Star state.
Many Democrats argue winning the Senate is just as important as winning the presidency in 2020. And O’Rourke is young enough that he still has many opportunities to run for the White House.
In a new poll conducted for The Dallas Morning News, the newspaper reports:
Forty-six percent of voters said O’Rourke should drop out of the presidential race and run for Senate, while 25% said he should keep running for president and 29% weren’t sure. About 51% of Democrats said O’Rourke should run for Senate instead of the White House.
And those polls were taken August 1-3rd, before the awful events in El Paso. It’s a safe bet to say that the numbers would only be more in O’Rourke’s favor now.
But right now, it seems like the 46-year-old says he’s staying in the presidential race. ABC reports:
Amid a raw and emotional week, O’Rourke dismissed questions about a potential Senate bid, telling reporters in El Paso Wednesday, “No part of me right now is thinking about politics, is thinking about any campaign or election. All of me is with and thinking about this community. And so I’m going to be here to be with my hometown, and to do anything I can to be helpful.”
If he changes his mind, he has until the filing deadline in December.
This post contains analysis and opinion