It’s too early for this.


Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, fresh off his loss to Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race, is not ruling out running for president.

Beto has a very Obamaesque quality to him … according to … Obama:

Rep. Beto O’Rourke may have lost in Texas, but he’s winning in Obamaland.

Aides to the former president and the man himself say O’Rourke’s campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gave them flashbacks to Obama’s precocious political rise and has positioned the young white congressman as an early if unlikely heir to the first black president’s “hope and change” mantle.

Obama said as much at an event in Chicago last week and some of his former political lieutenants have been publicly encouraging O’Rourke to consider a 2020 presidential bid, while privately counseling him on what to expect should he jump in.

How is hope and change playing so far? According to a poll reported in The Hill, Beto trails some elders like Biden, Bernie and Hillary.

But his showing is good enough to leapfrog Beto past such *powerhouses* as Spartacus, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. Via The Hill:

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) is considered one of the top Democratic contenders for the White House in 2020 even among more well-known potential hopefuls, according to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll released exclusively to The Hill.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is the most popular Democrat in the potential 2020 primary, with 28 percent of Democratic and independent voters saying they’d most likely vote for him, according to the poll released on Monday.

Biden remains the front-runner even when 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton is included in the poll. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who also ran in 2016, comes in second place at 21 percent.

O’Rourke, who earned a groundswell of national attention in 2018, was ranked third with 7 percent of Democratic and independent voters backing him, garnering more support than other frequently touted potential challengers….

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as well as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who are all openly considering 2020 campaigns — all polled in the low single-digits….

When Hillary is included, Beto actually rises a little though he places 4th not 3rd:

When Clinton is factored into the poll, she bumps O’Rourke down to fourth place, though his support grows from 7 percent to 9 percent.

Biden and Sanders — who have positive favorability ratings — remain in first and second, respectively, in that scenario, but their numbers slightly shrink. Biden then has 25 percent, while Sanders garners 15 percent.

Clinton comes in third place, with 13 percent of support.

This is really bad news for Warren. She has been de facto running for a year. She has the team in place, is making the moves, and even had the chutzpah to release her DNA test three weeks before the midterms to try to dominate headlines.

Unlike the others with national name recognition, being recognized doesn’t seem to help Warren, as demonstrated by polling in her home state, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Harry Enten at CNN reports, Some 2020 warning signs Elizabeth Warren needs to pay attention to — stat:

Number of the week: The Massachusetts secretary of state certified the state’s US Senate election results this week and found that Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren defeated Republican Geoff Diehl by 24 points.

What’s the point: Warren’s margin may sound impressive, until you realize Hillary Clinton won Massachusetts by 27 points in 2016. Clinton won by 3 more points than Warren, despite 2018 being a better year for Democrats nationally and Warren having the advantage of incumbency.

Warren’s performance in 2018 was one of the weakest for a Democratic Senate candidate. I created a simple statistical formula explaining the results of the 34 Senate races with at least one Democrat (or independent who caucuses with the Democrats) and one Republican. Controlling for a state’s weighted average partisanship and incumbency, Warren’s performance was the sixth worst of all Democrats. She did 7 points worse than expected. (For comparison, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders outperformed their baselines by 9 and 12 points respectively.)

It’s not the only bad number for Warren published this week. A UMass/YouGov study of Massachusetts Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents finds former Vice President Joe Biden at 19% to Sanders’ 14% to Warren’s 11% in a hypothetical Democratic presidential primary. A large 27% answered “don’t know.” YouGov’s polling does not meet CNN’s standards because it doesn’t use probability sampling.

Of course, it’s very early in the 2020 Democratic primary process, which is probably why 27% of Massachusetts Democrats don’t know who they support.

Yet you would think that candidates who just ran major statewide races in their home states would be favorites in their home states. In this case, Warren isn’t only not in first place, but she’s also not even in second place. A full 89% of Massachusetts Democrats are not behind her at this point.

The lack of home state love should, in theory, be worrisome for Warren. These are the voters who know her best. If she is underperforming with them, then it follows that she may do worse than expected when exposed more fully to Democrats nationally.

Even this early, eventual nominees are usually winning in hypothetical primary polling in their home states.

Because of Trump’s branding of Warren, she has the name recognition, though that name isn’t Elizabeth or Liz. It may be hurting her where it counts — by making her seem like a not serious candidate even as she tries to be extremely serious.