Beto O’Rourke is reportedly ending his 2020 presidential campaign and dropping out of the race. The news broke late on Friday as the former Texas congressman dropped the news on his twitter account and thanked supporters for their efforts but decided that this time around simply wasn’t going to be his year for the presidency.
Our campaign has always been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly, and acting decisively.
In that spirit: I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee. https://t.co/8jrBPGuX4t
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 1, 2019
According to some sources, per CNBC, some of Beto’s donors were made aware of the impending decision earlier this week:
“We will work to ensure that the Democratic nominee is successful in defeating Donald Trump in 2020,” O’Rourke wrote in the blog post. “I can tell you firsthand from having the chance to know the candidates, we will be well served by any one of them, and I’m going to be proud to support whoever that nominee is.”
O’Rourke had told some of his donors earlier this week that he was likely going to drop out, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
What changed for Beto? Perhaps today’s deadline for making any headway toward earning a November debate spot. Beto was already on the outside looking in, and his prospects to make the December stage were basically non-existent.
What about a Senate run against Texas Sen. John Cornyn? Some sources are claiming that the move has been ruled out by Beto for now, but there’s still time for something like that to transpire. It’s also entirely possible that Beto has decided that after an arduous Senate loss in 2018, and 2019 presidential campaign which never caught fire, it might be time to step back from the public eye for a period to reevaluate his moves before jumping into yet another high-profile political campaign.
In mid-July, Beto’s polling hit a low point among Democratic voters in New Hampshire when his named appeared with 0% support. Our pages flagged the issue back then as a dramatic sign that something was seriously wrong with Beto’s attempted campaign strategy and his seeming inability to connect with the Democratic primary electorate.
The El Paso shooting on Aug. 3 brought attention to his candidacy as he became the unofficial spokesman at the time calling for gun control legislation since El Paso is O’Rourke’s home town.
With his numbers solidly at 2% on average, Beto hasn’t had much impact on the campaign for months. He made waves back in September by flat out stating his desire to confiscate AR-15 files in a mandatory buyback program. The move brought criticism from other Democrats, including Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, who believe that such an extreme position would inevitably hurt the cause of gun control.
In the end, none of the multiple relaunches engineered by Beto’s campaign managed to bring him any newfound support or help sure up the waning poll numbers.
Beto hasn’t been holding much support in recent weeks so it’s not as if a large chunk of voters will suddenly be freed to choose a new candidate. His small hold on a few percentage points among primary voters will likely split fairly evenly to other candidates.