One of the most intriguing story lines of the coming Presidential campaign season is the emerging confluence between the rising tide of Latino voter influence and Beto O’Rourke’s fortunes.
The trajectory of these two story lines will lead to a combustible finale on Primary day in California and Texas, March 3, 2020.
On that date Beto likely faces a strategic crossroads. He must hold his own in Texas and stop Kamala Harris from sweeping in California. Only Latino voters can do that for him. No other candidate is so dependent on Latino voters for success.
March 3, 2020 the Super Bowl of Democratic Presidential primaries. All eyes will be on the delegate rich California and Texas primaries. And the big question remains unanswered, has the Latino demographic “sleeping giant” that has long been anticipated now arrived? The fate of Beto’s candidacy may ride on the answer.
While he may not be a Latino, Beto O’Rourke has major vote getting appeal among Latinos. Latino voters flock to him. He’s authentic. He speaks Spanish naturally. He grew up speaking Mexican flavored Spanish like a native. Latino voters, and the bond Beto has with them, will make or break his candidacy Latino voters are Beto’s margin. They are the difference that tilts things his way.
Can Beto ignite a surge of Latino political empowerment and excitement that actually turns into votes on Primary Election Day March 3, 2020? For Beto this is the whole ball game.
Beto’s strategic crossroads has a purpose. He must hold his own in Texas and stop Kamala Harris from sweeping in California.
Consider the dynamic. The California delegates will be distributed proportionally by Congressional District, not winner take all. Given his unique appeal to Latino voters Beto has an opportunity, in targeted Congressional Districts, to turn out Latinos in a big way and skim off enough delegates to cause Kamala Harris and her supporters to rethink.
At the same time Beto, has to maintain his stronghold in Texas. This past election year the blue wave made its presence felt in Texas— and it was powered in great part by Latino voters and their enthusiasm for Beto.
There is, obviously, a strategy for Kamala Harris as well. But the focus of this argument is on Beto and his relationship with Latino voters. I’ll save the Harris strategy for another time.
Can Beto hold his own in Texas and prevent Kamala Harris from sweeping in California? Will Beto even field a smart, effective campaign? Will Latino voters continue to exceed expectations? Will other candidates emerge with a pull on Latino voter loyalties? Will Kamala Harris remain viable? We do not know the answers.
A lot can happen between now and March 3, 2020. But the trajectory of these two story lines is linked. The rising tide of Latino voter influence and Beto O’Rourke’s fortunes. The convergence of two potentially volatile and course altering political narratives. Whew. Look out.