It’s still unclear whether Beto O’Rourke, a rising Democratic star who nearly unseated Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, will run for president, but a new report suggests that he could be inching in that direction.
According to The Wall Street Journal, O’Rourke is planning a road trip to meet voters outside of Texas as he decides whether to run for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
The report notes that the former congressman wouldn’t be visiting the early primary states, but he would visit college campuses.
More from The Wall Street Journal:
Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke is asking aides to create an itinerary for him to take a solo road trip outside of Texas where he would “pop into places” such as community college campuses.
Mr. O’Rourke’s trip would begin from his El Paso home and keep him away from Iowa and other early-voting states. Mr. O’Rourke doesn’t plan to be accompanied by staff or press, though he may document the trip on social media and allow people he meets to do so as well. He doesn’t plan to make a final decision on a presidential bid until at least February.
The road trip is a chance for O’Rourke to generate enthusiasm
O’Rourke may not be visiting early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, but his planned road trip is the clearest signal yet that he is strongly considering a run for president.
Dropping into college campuses, where he will likely receive a warm and enthusiastic reception, could give him a chance to show that he has the ability to inspire and mobilize Democratic voters.
After all, if Democrats are going to beat Trump, they need a nominee who is likable and has the ability to excite voters who might otherwise stay home on election day.
There is a long way to go until the 2020 Democratic field fully develops, but the news that Beto O’Rourke wants to remain on voters’ minds suggests that he is seriously considering his own candidacy.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.