Lamar University Press Logo

Beto for President

UP graphic by Caden Moran
UP graphic by Caden Moran

It doesn’t feel that long ago that Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States and the political climate of the country shifted.

It has been a long and controversial few years for the president, and with many Americans demanding immediate change, 2020 could be the year that change comes to fruition.

Beto O’Rourke, former U.S. Representative from Texas’ 16th district, formally announced that he would be running for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election. O’Rourke, who was narrowly defeated by Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections, could have the best chance to be the change many Americans want.

The El Paso native has been making his presence felt in the political landscape since running against Cruz last year. In what should’ve been an easy win in the Republican dominated state, Cruz squeaked by O’Rourke with 50.9 percent of the votes. Compare that to the 2012 midterm elections, when Cruz won 56.6 percent of the votes. O’Rourke’s performance shocked the nation and the Republican party.

What made the election significant was the rise in voter turnout. Four years ago, Texas ranked near the bottom in turnout, but in 2018, Texas ranked sixth in the nation and saw an 18 percent rise, with voters between the ages 18-29 increasing five times as much compared to the 2014 election. The young voters rallied behind O’Rourke from the beginning, and it nearly paid off.

Beto O’Rourke is the best choice to represent the Democratic Party during next year’s presidential election. As of now, there are 16 Democratic candidates vying to have a chance to become president. Of those 16, three stand out among the rest.

O’Rourke, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are the candidates who have the national presence and track record worthy enough to run in 2020.

O’Rourke and Sanders have the edge over Warren due to their performances during their respective elections.

The biggest thing that separates O’Rourke and Sanders is their age. The Senator from Vermont is a staggering 77 years old. If Sanders were to win the 2020 election, he would be 78, making him the oldest president ever elected. To put that in perspective, Ronald Reagan was 73 when elected to his second term.

Reagan went on to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which affected his presidency and decisions. Age is a big variable when it comes to presidential candidates.

Beto O’Rourke is 46 years old. If he were to win the election, he would only be 47, tying him with Barack Obama as the fifth youngest President elected. O’Rourke’s age plays a big factor in his chances during the election, especially with young voters.

He may not be the youngest of all the Democratic candidates running, but his relatively young age should take him far.

The process leading up to the 2020 election will be a difficult one for Democratic voters. However, with O’Rourke proving that he can take his opponents to the limit, and with his ability to connect with young voters, he should be the favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

The current state of the country is a mess, but if Beto O’Rourke were to be the one to take on Donald Trump in 2020, then maybe America can finally be great again.

Category: Opinion