Beto O’Rourke’s recent surge in polls says less about his chances in the 2020 presidential race than it does about how weak many other likely Democratic contenders are as the campaign enters its preliminary stages.
Coming off of his loss to Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, O’Rourke, the media favorite, shot up in recent surveys of the 2020 race. A national CNN poll put him in third place with the support of 9 percent of Democrats. Though he trailed former Vice President Joe Biden (30 percent) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (14 percent), who both benefit from high name recognition, he was ahead of Democrats who have been rumored as potential candidates for the past few years: Sens. Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren.
Harris, who was at 9 percent in October, saw her support drop to 4 percent; Warren dropped from 8 percent to 3 percent.