Beto O'Rourke lost to Ted Cruz, but the elegies for the 46-year-old are in many cases reading a lot more like a 2020 presidential pitch. What's being said about the Texas Democrat's loss and the future of both the candidate and the party in the state:
- At Slate, Ben Mathis-Lilley makes the case for Beto 2020 (though he also suggests no case needs to be made: "Don't Overthink It, Just Nominate Beto," reads his headline). Elements of his argument: "His Uplifting Articulate Guy persona presents a clear alternative to Trumpism without coming across as scolding or patronizing. While he lost his Senate race, he has experience in Congress, but not so much experience that past votes will haunt him."
- At CNN, Raul Reyes says "Beto" has become a "household name" that won't soon disappear from our tongues. He runs through the what-ifs of his loss (among them: "Maybe O'Rourke should have run a more traditional campaign, instead of refusing to run negative ads") while acknowledging the way O'Rourke ran his campaign is the reason why he "captured national attention." Reyes raises the possibility of a presidential run, too: "O'Rourke has shown that a progressive Democrat can mount a serious challenge in a red state ... and he did this while refraining from personal attacks and staying true to his inclusive values."