Beto O’Rourke’s 2020 campaign

The Texas Democrat became a national political celebrity during his underdog 2018 Senate run against Ted Cruz.

Beto O’Rourke — the Texas Democrat who came within 2 points of unseating Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterms — is running for president in 2020.

After months of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation, O’Rourke announced his presidential bid on March 14. In 2018, he proved that a Democrat could be competitive in deep-red Texas and became a rising star within the party. His supporters began calling on him to make a 2020 run almost immediately after his loss to Cruz.

O’Rourke doesn’t have a singular message or a prescriptive set of policy proposals. But he does have a set of liberal values and a whole lot of charisma. He was able to harness the progressive grassroots energy in 2018 despite actually voting more conservative than the average Democrat in Congress. Depending on whom you ask, O’Rourke’s open-ended approach to politics and policy could be his biggest asset or his biggest vulnerability.