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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

Go deeper

The elusive political power of Mexican Americans

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
31 mins ago - Health

The barriers to vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut they face numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a series of amendments overnight into early Saturday morning.