Beto O'Rourke says Texas is “Biden's to lose” in presidential race

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Beto O’Rourke believes his one-time rival for the Democratic nomination for president, Joe Biden, can win Texas in the presidential election.

“My contention is that this is Biden’s to lose. And we’re not going to wait for the Biden campaign to wake up to that reality,” O’Rourke told Major Garrett in this week’s episode of “The Takeout” podcast, saying that the state Democratic Party was actively focusing on turning people out for the election. O’Rourke and Garrett spoke last week at the Texas Tribune Festival.


Highlights from this week’s episode:

  • Beto O’Rourke on Biden’s chances in Texas: “My contention is that this is Biden’s to lose. And we’re not going to wait for the Biden campaign to wake up to that reality.”
  • On Biden visiting Texas: “Please, by all means, expand this map and show us that we here in Texas are important to you. And we will respond in kind and turn out like you’ve never seen us turn out.”
  • Why candidates need to “show up” when campaigning: “If this stuff were easy, this state would be blue by now.”
  • Importance of Texas in 2020: “I think, I firmly believe, I almost know, that this election for president is going to come down to Texas.”

O’Rourke said that the Biden campaign should make more appearances in Texas ahead of Election Day, noting that early voting begins in the state on October 13. He said that right now, the Biden campaign is focused on a “fairly conventional map,” not wanting to risk states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.

“Please, by all means, expand this map and show us that we here in Texas are important to you. And we will respond in kind and turn out like you’ve never seen us turn out,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke drew on his experience running for Senate in 2018, where he narrowly lost to incumbent Ted Cruz. He said that it was important to show up in areas where people may be skeptical of Democrats, and areas which Democrats typically take for granted.

“You’ve got to show up literally for everyone,” O’Rourke said. “If this stuff were easy, this state would be blue by now.”

O’Rourke said that most polls showing Biden closely behind President Trump in Texas are likely “undercounting Democratic performance.”

“In 2018, in the midterm year, a cycle that typically favors Republican turnout over Democratic performance, we got within two and a half points of Ted Cruz,” O’Rourke said. “That two and a half that I was down with Cruz was six points better than every major poll showed on the eve of that election.”

O’Rourke said that it was important for Biden to win Texas, saying, “I think, I firmly believe, I almost know, that this election for president is going to come down to Texas.”

“I believe because of this president’s willingness to operate above the law and outside of the constitution — that he’s warned all of us that he may not accept the results of this election, he may not guarantee a peaceful transition of power — it is imperative that these 38 electoral votes come in for Joe Biden so no question is left open and no opportunity for the president to sow chaos and confusion about the results,” O’Rourke said.

For more of Major’s conversation with O’Rourke, download “The Takeout” podcast on Art19, iTunesGooglePlaySpotify and Stitcher. New episodes are available every Friday morning. Also, you can watch “The Takeout” on CBSN Friday at 5pm, 9pm, and 12am ET and Saturday at 1pm, 9pm, and 12am ET. For a full archive of “The Takeout” episodes, visit www.takeoutpodcast.com. And you can listen to “The Takeout” on select CBS News Radio affiliates (check your local listings).  

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