Is he the white Obama?
The biggest UK political betting market continues to be the US presidential election in 2020 and overnight there have been big developments with Beto O’Rourke saying that he isn’t rulling out a bid.
He had said on repeated occasions that he would not seek the Presidency at the next election but in a town hall meeting last night in his home city of El Paso he suggested that he is now open to a presidential run. This is a significant shift from his remarks on the matter before the midterm elections on November 6th.
He came to prominence during that campaign for his hugely successful fundraising and for running the incumbent Ted Cruz a very close second in a state which has been dominated by the Republicans for decades.
If the betting is anything to go by then the nomination flight is between O’Rourke and the California senator Kamala Harris who is just favourite at 17% compared with O’Rourke at 15%.
His senate campaign received a huge amount of publicity ahead of November 6th and he became very much a favourite of the liberal left within the party because of the energy of his campaigning and his strong views on healthcare and immigration. The former became the number one issue in the midterms following the efforts by Trump to undermine Obamacare.
Bernie Sanders, the elderly former favourite has now slipped to sixth place in the betting on 6% and Beto backers will surely hoping that the ageing socialist from Vermont and his energetic base will support their man. I know many PBers, including myself, are on the 46 year old Texan at considerably longer odds than you can get now.
There is still an awful long way to go. Generally potential candidates put their hats into the ring in the first half of the year before the presidential election and the action starts the following January.
This latest news will help prospective campaign funders as well as Democratic party campaign professionals who had been waiting on news from O’Rourke before deciding who to back in the primary campaign.