Beto O'Rourke.

In a crowded scramble, Beto O'Rourke broke through in a way most candidates could only dream of with his 2020 entry this morning.

The big picture: For a candidate polling in the single digits, O'Rourke has a huge national profile, as shown by the instant response to this morning's announcement.

  • Drudge banner: "BETOMANIA"
  • Trump mocked his announcement video: "“He has a lot of hand movement -- I’ve never seen anything like it ... Is he crazy or is that just the way he acts?”
  • Pelosi: “Beto has brought a good deal of vitality to Congress ... when he came, he came as a real champion for the environment.”
  • Early House Democratic endorsements: Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Veronica Escobar (D-TX) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).

Between the lines: "If there’s an elevator pitch for O’Rourke’s presidential candidacy, that’s more or less it: 'I came this close to turning Texas blue. Imagine what I could do nationally,'" FiveThirtyEight notes.

  • "O’Rourke won big in cities like Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Not just that, but Texas saw an astounding 3.7 million more votes in 2018 than it did in the midterm elections four years earlier."
  • "O’Rourke outperformed Hillary Clinton by about 6 percentage points in the state."

What's next: O'Rourke's formal campaign kicks off in El Paso on March 30.

  • In the meantime, pay attention to whether his campaign releases early fundraising or volunteer numbers. The current leader on those metrics is Bernie Sanders, who hauled in $5.9 million in his first 24 hours.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate

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In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 18,178,736 — Total deaths: 691,111 — Total recoveries — 10,835,789Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 4,698,335 — Total deaths: 155,331 — Total recoveries: 1,468,689 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.