One of the most notable races during the 2018 midterm elections was the Senate race in Texas where Beto O’Rourke faced off with Ted Cruz. O’Rourke was able to convince the deeply red state of Texas that he was worthy of their blue vote and on November 6, he came unbearably close to usurping Cruz. When O’Rourke fell short by 2.6 points, people from across the nation were devastated by the loss. Now, those same people have become hopeful once again and have set their sights on 2020.
O’Rourke is one of the many democratic names that have been tossed around for the presidency. Along with Joe Biden, Sherrod Brown and Hillary Clinton, O’Rourke has become viable for the presidential election. O’Rourke appears to have something that the other candidates lack. He is a fresh face for the U.S., teeming with new ideas and surprisingly liberal viewpoints.
Many of his stances on issues present him as a textbook liberal. He is against the wall, encourages more gun control and is pro-choice. All of these should’ve been turnoffs for Texas voters, but O’Rourke somehow managed to grab the attention and votes of Texans by displaying these views in a civil, nonabrasive and educated way. His approach to these topics was reasonable and fashioned so that even deeply republican Texans found themselves agreeing with them.
O’Rourke also proved himself different than other candidates when he allowed himself to be open with the public. During his campaign, he visited all 254 counties in Texas in an attempt to listen to as many Texans as possible. He has also been unafraid to acknowledge his past mistakes, including his DUI from 1998.
A politician that is unabashed about their failures and invokes a hopeful and respective tone seems to be a rarity in this political climate. His genuine self-disclosure and openness towards people of all races, classes and genders are both interesting and capable of grabbing the media’s attention. O’Rourke doesn’t make headlines because of his controversies or arguments. Instead, he wins over media popularity with his successes. He became one of the most talked about candidates in 2018 because of his ability to win people over with thoughts of unity instead of divisive rhetoric.
He will have many votes awaiting him if he does decide to run. Some Democrats are hopeful that, if he ran, he would specifically be able to collect much of the younger vote. Videos of him eloquently explaining his thoughts on NFL players kneeling and what he can do for black women has gone viral on Twitter. When he curses on television, the younger generation cheers and applauds. He has young people’s ear and they’re waiting to hear what he does next.
Beto O’Rourke is personable, well-spoken and not actively divisive. His message is one of unity and acceptance. Even if he chooses not to run, candidates should look to him as the model for 2020.
Chloe Ruffennach is a sophomore studying strategic communications at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to reach at the College Democrats? Send them a tweet @OUCollegeDems.