Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Beto O'Rourke at an election night rally in Texas. Photo: Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

There are more than 430 days until the Iowa caucuses for the 2020 presidential election, but Crooked Media's Dan Pfeiffer, who served as Barack Obama's communications director, is making the case that Beto O'Rourke is "one of the strongest candidates in the field."

Why it matters: Even though O'Rourke lost his Texas Senate race to Ted Cruz, several Democrats are hoping he'll run for president in 2020. And between this endorsement from a prominent member of Crooked Media — whose podcast, "Pod Save America," has been downloaded more than 330 million times since its launch in early 2017 — and recent praise from Obama, Beto already has some strong Democratic support if he chooses to pursue a presidential bid.

"Washington was wrong about Obama and there are many reasons to believe it’s wrong about Beto."
— Dan Pfeiffer

There are four reasons why Pfeiffer thinks Beto's Senate campaign could transition into a successful presidential campaign:

  • Enthusiasm. "He built a national grassroots movement for change and many of those people are waiting to be called into duty and head to Iowa and New Hampshire. The enthusiasm is real and matters."
  • He built a winning coalition of voters. Beto won first-time voters by 14 percentage points and his "progressive appeal to the base didn’t turn off the middle." He also won independent voters by 12 percentage points more than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. If that held, "he would deliver every state Obama won in 2012, and could make Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia competitive."
  • He could win Iowa, Pfeiffer writes. "The O’Rourke campaign in Texas was essentially an Iowa Caucus campaign on a grander scale. ... If you can win in Iowa, you can win the White House."
  • He had an innovative campaign. From not hiring a pollster to investing heavily in digital advertising instead of TV advertising, Beto ran a different campaign. "If Democrats run the same old campaign, using the same tired and outdated tactics, we will certainly lose to Trump," Pfeiffer writes. "Our nominee must have the courage to run a different kind of campaign. Beto has demonstrated that courage."

The other side: From a political perspective, he's still just a former House member who lost a very high-profile Senate race. That's a big leap to the White House.

The bottom line: The same guys who believed in Obama before Washington was on board are seeing similar energy and hope behind Beto in 2020.

Go deeper

7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden to attempt "emergency economic relief" by executive order

President Biden. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Biden will continue his executive action blitz on Friday, issuing two more orders in an attempt to provide immediate relief to struggling families without waiting for Congress.

Why it matters: In his second full day in office, Biden is again resorting to executive actions as he tries to increase payments for nutritional assistance and protect workers' rights during the pandemic.

7 mins ago - Economy & Business

What Biden's EV push could mean for jobs

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden's swift effort to re-establish stricter fuel efficiency mandates, along with his broader push toward vehicle electrification, is as much about creating new jobs as it is protecting the environment.

Why it matters: The U.S. lags far behind the rest of the world in electric vehicle adoption. Catching up will require big investments in EV production — including battery cell manufacturing and mining of raw materials — to avoid dependence on imports and foreign supply chains.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!