Mar 15, 2019 - Politics & Policy

How 2020 Democrats reacted to Beto

Beto O'Rourke in Iowa on the 2020 campaign trail. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beto O'Rourke's got something that is capturing everyone's attention — including his fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, some of whom went out of their way to address him.

Driving the news: Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker all sent fundraising emails to their supporters specifically citing Beto's presidential bid. (The subject line of Harris' email was simply: Beto O'Rourke.) They haven't done this for other presidential candidates, except Harris' team which sent a similar note when Bernie Sanders announced.

Why it matters: It's too early to tell who's going to be the nominee, but Beto's early buzz is clearly something his Democratic opponents aren't taking lightly and can't afford to ignore.

  • Fundraising is particularly important for 2020 candidates because they can't qualify for the DNC debates unless they have donations from at least 65,000 people. As Booker wrote in his email: "The reality is every new person in the race makes the potential debate stage more crowded."
  • O'Rourke raised a record $80 million for his 2018 Senate campaign in Texas, and $20 million of that came from out of the state.

Other candidates welcomed Beto to the race with a simple tweet, like John Delaney.

  • Julián Castro's team emailed supporters on the morning of O'Rourke's announcement with the news that he'd received over 30 endorsements from appointed and elected officials in Texas.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar was asked about O'Rourke's campaign during a CNN interview, to which she said: "I think competition is good for our party."
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand seemed unfazed by O'Rourke's announcement — she met with Stacey Abrams yesterday.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Beto O'Rourke.

Go deeper