December 15, 2018

In the time leading up to the midterm elections, two things were speculated: a blue wave would come and the senate map would not be favorable. However, some Democrats held hope still; they thought the states would swing and that there was a chance yet. In some states such as Arizona (Sinema-D) and Nevada (Rosen-D), such feverish dreams would come to fruition. But the brigades of bashful Democrats of the future, those who were the media’s darlings, stumbled down. Yet the gains made were unpredictable and relatable with fears borne through sheer charisma.

Today, I’d like to focus on one circumstance: the curious case of the Texan star child, Beto O’Rourke. To those who have not been closely following the midterms or their recent results, one word in that sentence that is going to throw them off is Texan. Texas, traditionally heralded as the token child of conservatism, has steadily become more liberal within its urban cities and more diverse in its communities.

When Beto began getting national coverage, most simply swept him aside due to the fact that he was not viewed as diverse and active enough to garner such a voting class. Yet, with the suburban rebellion that the nation witnessed, as well as Beto O’Rourke’s focus on his native El Paso region, major strides were made. But who is Beto? The representative for Texas’ 16th congressional district is a former rock star turned rock star of the Democratic Party. But has he truly made a difference in Texas? Well that’s when nuance comes into the equation. While some simply view his gains in reference to Texas itself, others tend to relate them to the national climate. If you look at the gains alone, Democrats received nearly 1,000,000 more votes in this senate race compared to the last race against Ted Cruz (R-Texas). This may be partially because of suburban revolt, or the nearly 1 million person increase within Texas’ Hispanic population. But does the possible reality of significant gains even matter? Well, the short answer, as you may suspect, is yes. Democrats in the house made significant gains during the midterms, and the O’Rourke campaign brought millions of funds on the state building infrastructure for Democrats’ campaigns for years to come in the region. This will make them more competitive in all future elections in the state, but besides that- the money and success has made O’Rourke’s name widely known. This will be key if he chooses to sway voters in the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries for the 2020 election. (Yep, that’s right, we just finished 2018, and we are already prepping for a failing senatorial candidate to try to be president, along with forty-five other hopefuls.) Can Beto Win? Who the heck knows?!  

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