Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke drops out of the presidential race
Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke dropped out of the presidential race in the middle of last week, according to the NY Times. O’Rourke burst onto the scene after the 2018 Senate race, winning more votes than any Democrat in Texas history. During the first 24 hours of his Presidential campaign, he raised $6.1 million, which set a record at the time. However, according to CBS News, after the initial wave of support, his campaign struggled with staffing problems and messaging, and ultimately began falling behind in the polls and fundraising as well. “Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully,” O’Rourke wrote on Medium. He made the decision to drop out a night before a gathering of Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa. ~
O’Rourke built his campaign on issues related to gun-control, climate change, and structural racism. He made a drastic decision over the summer to reframe his candidacy as an activist crusader following the mass shooting targeting Latinos in his home city of El Paso. His most notable policies deal with federal gun-control and would require owners of assault-style weapons to surrender them to the government. This stance is far more aggressive than most Democratic candidates endorse. During the last phase of his campaign, O’Rourke focused on “taking the fight to Donald Trump” and “being with those who have been denigrated and demeaned” which included visits with prison inmates in California and an immigrant community in Mississippi. ~
It is unclear whether O’Rourke’s exit will have a significant impact on the Democratic primary race. In a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Friday, Mr. O’Rourke was supported by just 1 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, and had yet to qualify for the upcoming primary debates in November and December. He is not expected to run for any other office in 2020, although many party leaders and political donors are trying to convince him to make another bid for the Senate. “I cannot fathom a scenario where I would run for public office again if I’m not the nominee,” Mr. O’Rourke said last month. ~
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