Beto Spent More Than $50M in Texas. He Lost. What's Next? | NTK Network Beto Spent More Than $50M in Texas. He Lost. What’s Next?

Beto Spent More Than $50M in Texas. He Lost. What’s Next?

A look at what the Democratic Party's trendiest candidate, who lost to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Tuesday night, might do next.

By NTK Staff | 11.08.2018 @10:15am
Beto Spent More Than $50M in Texas. He Lost. What’s Next?

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) captured liberal hearts and minds during his upstart 2018 U.S. Senate campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), raised over $70 million, spent over $50 million, and still lost on Tuesday night.

With all the votes counted, O’Rourke lost by 2.6 percentage points to Cruz, or 223,042 votes out of 8,325,892 cast. A loss is a loss, but O’Rourke came a lot closer to defeating Cruz than Cruz’s first U.S. Senate opponent, Paul Sadler, who lost by nearly 1.3 million votes (17 percentage points).

Still, O’Rourke is not a candidate without controversy, given some Democrats have privately griped that O’Rourke’s millions of dollars would have been better spent on helping vulnerable Democratic incumbents in states like Indiana, North Dakota, and Missouri keep their seats.

But the question many liberals are asking Wednesday and Thursday is not ‘why did Beto lose?’ or ‘how can Democrats win the next big Texas race?’ but: ‘what will Beto do next?’

Some liberals already have the answer: O’Rourke should run for president.

Liberal activist and actress Alyssa Milano, for example (this tweet received 86,000 likes):

And O’Rourke’s loss has launched thinkpieces about a 2020 presidential run, much like his Senate run launched glossy profiles about his life and candidacy:

O’Rourke, for his part, may have difficulty explaining why he should launch a run for president when he hasn’t even won a statewide election – even a young, upstart Barack Obama won a state before running for president.

But as Decision Desk HQ’s Jeffrey Blehar noted on Wednesday, O’Rourke can claim to party activists and the faithful that his star-studded run wasn’t a complete loss for Texas Democrats:

Will that be enough to launch O’Rourke over other, more experienced candidates running for president in 2020? Stay tuned.

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