Keyword: Beto O'Rourke
M.J. Hegar will look to raise her profile tonight as she and incumbent U.S. Senator John Cornyn face off in a televised debate at 7 PM Central Standard Time. In many ways, Hegar is doing relatively well according to the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in that she’s only trailing Cornyn among likely voters by 8 points.
The February 2020 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll caught Bernie Sanders’ apparent rise and troubling times for Joe Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential nominating contest, even as the race changes on a seemingly day-to-day basis heading into the end of the beginning of the delegate-earning phase of the contest. While the flow of the Democratic race remains rapid and unpredictable, Texans’ views of Congress are still, deep, and fetid. The impact of the impeachment process and its outcome were similarly settled, especially along partisan lines, though the attitudes of independents could potentially produce tricky undercurrents for incumbents. Donald Trump is getting some credit in Texas for a good economy even as his other job approval ratings remain deeply divided. Beneath all the Democratic presidential shifting and Trumpian chaos, the Democrats attempting to earn the right to challenge John Cornyn continued to struggle for attention -- good news for the incumbent. Find more on these points below.
In an alternate universe envisioned by Beto O’Rourke’s fan base about a year ago, this weekend might have witnessed his breakout performance at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Dinner on Friday, followed by the release of a University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll showing him leading the Democratic presidential primary field in his home state, poised to make a strong showing in Iowa and turn Texas blue while on the way to changing the Electoral College map for 2020 and beyond as he rid the country of Donald Trump and swept into the White House.
The real world looks a little different today.
At this, admittedly, extremely early stage in the process, let’s take a look at where each stands among Texas voters, and in particular, Texas Democrats and liberals ahead of the first Democratic debates.
As the political press awaits Beto O’Rourke’s announcement that he’s ready to “push the button” on a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, we’ve gathered a set of results from the University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll that chart his rise in his home state. All of this put him in a strong position to challenge John Cornyn in 2020, but he has apparently chosen ostensibly bigger and better things at the national level.
President Donald Trump’s first visit to Texas of 2019 comes as another partial government shutdowwn looms, and as Trump’s demand for funding for a wall or similar barriers continues to meet resistance from congressional Democrats led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Trump will hold a rally in El Paso as opponents hold a counter-rally that will feature speeches by Beto O’Rourke and newly-elected congresswoman Veronica Escobar.
Review relevant results from the most recent University of Texas / Texas Tribune Poll that provide context for Trump’s reception upon his return to Texas, and his continued emphasis on immigration and the border with Mexico.
A sober assessment points to the best move for Beto O’Rourke, for Texas, and maybe for the Democratic party writ large: The most likely path for most successful statewide Texas Democrat of the 21st century to win his next election is to rejoin the fray as soon as possible by running for the other U.S. Senate seat in 2020. This would hasten the emergence of a competitive party system in the state.
The rampant speculation about a Beto for President campaign in 2020 is a fantasy borne of various combinations of Texas-centric thinking, viral Betomania, and media group think.
The trial ballot in the contest between Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke, which found the incumbent senator leading the El Paso congressman 51 to 46 percent, provided the marquee result from the October University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. Ross Ramsey did his usual, able job rolling out the results from the trial ballots; below, find a few related observations.
This post will be updated regularly to reflect the release of new public polls.
Most recent update: 11/2/18
Even under extremely rosy circumstances, O'Rourke needs BOTH a momentous shift in voter sentiment, AND a momentous shift in Democratic turnout: possible, but still not probable.