Lead Up to March 14, 2019 - Beto Anticipation Builds

(revised March 14, 2019) In the first part of March several potential candidates announced they were not running for president in 2020 [Holder, Merkley, Bloomberg and Brown], but there were still eight or so prospects who could potentially get in the race.  Topping the list were the two big Bs, Beto and Biden. 

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke acquired celebrity status in the course of his 2018 Senate challenge to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R).  O'Rourke visited all 254 counties, raised over $80 million, and attracted a national following before ultimately losing to Cruz by 2.86 percentage points (50.89% to 48.33%) out of about 8.4 million votes tallied (+).  As 2018 drew to a close he was the hot prospect for 2020.  Supporters launched two draft efforts encouraging O'Rourke to run.  On Feb. 11 President Trump came to El Paso to push for a border wall, and O'Rourke spoke at a counter rally.  By the early part of March it looked like O'Rourke would run.  He said he had reached a decision and would reveal it in due course.  A March 9 email encouraged people to sign up "to get the earliest possible update."  On March 10 he appeared at a showing of a documentary on his campaign at SXSW.  In Iowa, a veteran Democratic operative signed up with O'Rourke and was helping to plan his first trip.  Also in Iowa, on March 11 Club for Growth Action launched an attack ad on the likely candidate portraying him as an example of "white male privilege" with "an indelible sense of entitlement (+)"

Expectations for O'Rourke were very high.  Quite a few pundits drew comparisions with Obama.  Upon entry he would immediately be a top tier candidate, bringing a lot of energy as well as unparalleled fundraising ability into the race.  Similar to Obama's run in 2007, an O'Rourke candidacy could have a dampening effect on the 14 candidates already in the race (12 declared and 2 exploratory).  However, to most people O'Rourke is an unknown in terms of both his positions and experience, and it remains to be seen how he will perform on the national stage.

Biden, on the other hand, is a well known quantity.  He has a penchant for making the occasional gaffe and for speaking a bit too long.  His performance and showing as a candidate in the 2008 campaign suggest he could have a rocky time on the campaign trail.  There are also questions about his age.  Nonetheless he has done well in the meaningless early polls and would start out with some degree of establishment support. 

Steve Peoples and Julie Pace.  "Biden eyes fundraising challenge amid new sense of urgency."  AP, Mar. 9, 2019
Amie Parnes.  "Exclusive: Inside Joe Biden's campaign in waiting."  The Hill, Feb. 28, 2019.

Sasha Issenberg.  "Here's What Beto O'Rourke Could Unleash on Trump."  Politico Magazine, Feb. 22, 2019.
David Siders.  "Beto skips town while his brain trust sketches 2020 plans."  Politico, Jan. 16, 2019.

Draft Efforts


Draft Beto is a revolutionary campaign to convince Beto O'Rourke to run for President in 2020. 
We believe by building the grassroots infrastructure and financial resources we'll be able to not only convince Beto to run for the Democratic nomination, but give him a headstart.   
That's why every single dollar we raise is put into an escrow account, which immediately transfers to Beto's campaign if he decides to run.

We plan to give our Facebook and Twitter page, email list, and volunteer team to Beto's campaign as well. 


We believe Beto O’Rourke should be the next President of the United States.

Every four years, we’re told “this is the most important election of our lifetime.” The difference this time is that 2020 actually is.

As Democrats, we need to nominate a candidate who will move our country past four years of turmoil and bigotry.

Even more important, we need to nominate a candidate who can unite Democrats - and all Americans - around a shared, inclusive vision of who we are as a party and a nation. Democrats win when we remind people what we stand for: fairness, inclusivity, and bold, progressive solutions to the challenges we all face.

We believe the candidate best-suited to run such a campaign - and win back the White House - is Beto O’Rourke.

Beto for Texas
March 9, 2018 Email

If you're on the edge of your seat about Beto's decision around a potential 2020 run for president, you're not alone. But since you're someone who supported Beto's run for Senate, I wanted to invite you to be first to hear Beto's big announcement.

Want to be first to know about Beto's 2020 decision? Sign up to get the earliest possible update here -- then forward this email to your friends and family so they can get it too.

Get the first Beto update >> https://act.betoorourke.com/signup/be-the-first-to-know/?

There's been an outpouring of speculation, excitement, and support from people across the country -- everyone eagerly waiting for the news. Many of us are crossing our fingers and hoping that Beto has decided to run.

We know that we all accomplished so much in 2018. We built the largest grassroots campaign of the election season. We trained and supported new networks of people, many who'd never been involved in a political campaign before as we opened more than 700 pop-up offices. We brought our message of civility, decency, progress, and change to each one of the 254 counties of Texas. We received more votes than any Democrat in the history of Texas by uniting people across all walks of life so we could fight for a country that's not defined by fear and paranoia but instead by the things we want to achieve together.

And now I'm ready for us to bring our movement to the rest of the country. It's the exact kind of campaign that America needs right now, and it's why so many of us are hoping that Beto has decided to launch a campaign for President of the United States.
Sign up to get the very first Beto announcement here -- then forward this email to everyone you know so they can be in the loop too. We don't want anyone to miss anything.

I'm ready for what's next. I hope you are too.

Excited for more soon,
Cynthia Cano
Deputy Campaign Manager
2018 Beto for Texas Campaign

Feb. 2019

David Modigliani’s behind-the-scenes documentary RUNNING WITH BETO, following Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s rise from virtual unknown to national political sensation, will debut exclusively on HBO. Modigliani embedded with the O’Rourke campaign for a year as O’Rourke staged a bold, grassroots attempt to unseat Ted Cruz and represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. The film draws on intimate access to O’Rourke, his tight-knit family and his team of political newcomers, who champion a new way of getting to know a candidate — one Texas county at a time.

As a Democrat in the historically Republican stronghold of Texas, the El Paso native’s journey was unique, as he traveled to all 254 counties in Texas, using social media in unconventional ways to bring his message to the masses and refusing to accept PAC money or corporate contributions along the way. The result was the best-funded grassroots campaign in U.S. Senate history.

RUNNING WITH BETO will have its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March prior to its debut on HBO this spring.

Facebook ad from March 13, 2019