That Senate race made O’Rourke a star even though he didn’t win. But some Democrats say he simply drew TV coverage and attention, while there was organization and hard work happening on the ground around the state for many different candidates not named Beto.

“The Beto effect was real, but you had broader demographic shifts and a national wave” that made things more blue around the U.S., said Jay Aiyer, a Texas Southern University political analyst…

O’Rourke would force Trump’s campaign to spend heavily in Texas, which they otherwise don’t want to do.

The other side: But James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, thinks O’Rourke’s decision to run for president “actually slows down that transition [toward Democrats] than speeds it up,” compared to if he ran for Senate in 2020 against Cornyn.