Beto O'Rourke 2020? Ted Cruz Chief Strategist Says 'I Pray For The Soul of Anyone Who Has To Run Against' Texas Democrat

Beto O’Rourke ended his concession speech Tuesday night after defeat to Texas Senator Ted Cruz with an opening. “We’ll see you down the road,” he said to his supporters, creating, at least in the minds of many, the possibility of another run for office. Already, those supporters (and even some detractors) are speculating that the road could lead to Iowa and a 2020 presidential run.

O’Rourke has said numerous times that he doesn’t see a national election in his near future, but it appears that he’s one of the only people to believe that. Even Ted Cruz’s chief strategist, Jeff Roe, is among those who believe that the El Paso congressman would be wise to consider a run in 2020.

“The Democrats don’t have anybody like him. I’ve seen all of them. They don’t have anyone of his caliber on the national stage. I pray for the soul of anyone who has to run against him in Iowa in 453 days,” Roe told Politico on Wednesday.

While O’Rourke lost his race in Texas this week, he came incredibly close to beating Cruz in a ruby-red state that has long been considered the white whale for Democrats. Strategists argue that falling behind Cruz by just under 3-points and receiving 48.3 percent of the votes is an achievement in itself. In 2014, the Democratic contender for Senate, David Alameel, earned just 34 percent of the vote.

O’Rourke has also shown that he can raise presidential-levels of money. He broke all records with his 2018 Senatorial campaign, raising about $70 million without any contributions from corporations of Political Action Committees.

But Corey Lewandowski, president Donald Trump’s former campaign director who still advises the president (he was in the White House on Tuesday night to watch election results), says that there’s no way O’Rourke will be the one to challenge Trump in 2020.

“People don’t like to elect losers,” he told Newsweek. “If you can’t win in your own state regardless of what that state is, it makes no sense to run for something even bigger.”

Still, betting odds show that O’Rourke’s name has surged since Tuesday night. He’s now on par with Democratic Senator Kamala Harris, according to UK-based gambling site Betfair.

On the road, O’Rourke promised that if he won the election, he would serve every day of his six-year term, and would not seek any higher office. If he lost, he said, “we’re back in El Paso,” where he’s from.

There are other options on the table. Texas Senator John Cornyn is up for reelection in 2020 and Governor Greg Abbott’s term ends in 2022. But maybe, for now, a vacation is in order. 

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