SPOTLIGHT

Beto’s Best Bet

The former congressman has a tough choice ahead of him.

Former Democratic Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, left, appears with Oprah Winfrey for "Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square" Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in New York. The lineup on Tuesday also features actors Bradley Cooper and Michael B. Jordan and philanthropist Melinda Gates, underscoring the sense of celebrity that surrounds O'Rourke.
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Kyle Trygstad
Feb. 14, 2019, 9:54 a.m.

It would have been political malpractice for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer not to reach out to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke about running for the Senate again next year in Texas.

The El Paso native raised $80 million for his challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz and lost by just 2.5 points in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat statewide since 1994. He would instantly put another seat in play on a Democratic map not flush with prime pickup opportunities, and endanger Sen. John Cornyn, who won his last race by 28 points.

The fact that they met provides an added dose of intrigue to his forthcoming decision about running for president, which is expected by the end of the month.

No one would rather be a senator than president. So if he is indeed making a choice between the two, the fundamental question O’Rourke must ask himself is whether he has a better shot unseating an entrenched incumbent in a Republican-leaning, Democratic-trending state or successfully navigating a loaded presidential primary field.

-- Kyle Trygstad

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