Beto O’Rourke is coming to California. Can the trip redeem his campaign?
Over 25,000 Californians donated to his Senate run. Now as O’Rourke visits the state, he’s focused on voters rather than their wallets
For a moment, Beto O’Rourke, fresh faced and with a natural gift for cadence, was America’s great liberal hope – the consensus pick to be the next big thing. The two-time congressman from El Paso raised over $80m in 2018, more than any previous candidate for the US Senate, in his bid to unseat Ted Cruz. And he almost won, too, with whispers of a presidential run coming months before the vote.
But when he arrives in Los Angeles on Saturday, the first stop in a four-day swing through California, O’Rourke will be coming as not just a charismatic underdog, but as someone desperate to show he is still a rising star and not a has-been. Since launching his presidential campaign in March, O’Rourke has discovered that almost becoming a senator, and being slightly too liberal for Texas, have not proved to be standout attributes in a crowded field of contenders for the Democratic nomination.