Politics

Can Beto O’Rourke Win In Texas?

With the candidate for Senate in town, we ask an expert.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, challenging Ted Cruz in a run for Senate speaks in front of a crowd at Texas Southern University on March 22, 2018.

U.S. Representative and Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to unseat Republican Senator and incumbent Ted Cruz turned heads after the O’Rourke campaign outpaced Cruz fundraising-wise at the end of 2017. O’Rourke raised more money than the incumbent without receiving donations from political action committees or from Democrats nationally.

Still, political scientists like Mark Jones at Rice University say O’Rourke’s chances are slim.

“He’s been given lemons in terms of fundraising and he’s trying to make lemonade,” Jones said. “He’s turned down institution funding and PAC funding in large part because he wouldn’t receive it. It’d be sorta like me telling the Houston Astros I’m not trying out for catcher this year.”

Jones said O’Rourke will need to win most major metropolitan areas in Houston to have a shot at winning the Senate race. Even then, according to Jones, O’Rourke would still need to secure more than $20 million before election day in order to put up a fight.

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Davis Land

Senior Producer

Davis Land is a senior producer at Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a graduate...

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