Beto suffers loss during Midterms, but still makes change in Texas


Matt San Martin / Hilltop Views

Cruz won the election with 50.9 percent of votes while O’Rourke finished with 48.3 percent.

Your vote is your voice, they say. Texans made their voices heard loud and clear during this year’s midterm elections, but it wasn’t enough. From the beginning of Beto O’Rourke’s announcement to run against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, people said his victory was impossible. They were right.

But Beto made things happen for the state of Texas. It’s important to understand the wins he brought home because those wins wouldn’t have been possible without him and us, the voters.

O’Rourke got 48 percent of Texan votes while Cruz acquired 51 percent. When Cruz ran for Senator in 2012 he won with 56 percent. It’s important to also point out that voter turnout in Texas was higher that the previous mid-term election in 2014.

Data collected by the Texas Tribune in 30 counties, that are heavily populated by registered voters, showed that, during early voting, 4,884,528 Texans went to the polls or sent their mail-in ballots before election day.

My very own hometown in Houston also showed an increase in voter turnout and voted mostly Democrat.  Quite frankly, I was very proud and impressed. It was interesting to see Cruz’s home city vote against him, especially since he didn’t campaign as hard as O’Rourke.

Thanks to O’Rourke’s campaign, endorsements and the people that showed up to vote,  Democrats like Lizzie Fletcher were able to win against Republican Congressman John Culberson in Houston. Democrat Collin Allred was also a winner when he defeated Congressman Pete Sessions in Dallas. Their wins helped the Democratic party take control over the U.S. House and make it possible to stop any actions planned by President Donald Trump in the future.

Border counties also played a role in these wins. Their disagreement with the President’s desires, like building a wall, was heard when counties like Hidalgo, El Paso and Cameron began to appear blue. Rural counties on the other hand were red and played a big role in Cruz’s win. Nevertheless we heard something from Texans who populate the biggest cities in the Lone Star state: change is wanted and needed.

His campaign persuaded Texans to vote. This request from O’Rourke also caused a shift in the voter turnout seen among young individuals. We saw Twitter feeds filled with pictures of young people attending his town halls and when it came down to it they showed up, casted their ballot and took a selfie with their “I Voted” sticker. O’Rourke essentially held the youth accountable for their future and they listened.

O’Rourke’s efforts were unique and revolutionary. His speeches were one of inclusivity and motivation. The people of Texas, whether Democratic, Republican or Independent, were welcomed to his town halls.

Some accepted his welcome and agreed with what O’Rourke had to say. Some began to wear shirts that said “Republicans for Beto.”  People in different states were also caught wearing his shirts and celebrities like Travis Scott, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Khalid, Eva Longoria and Lin-Manuel Miranda, who call Texas home, began to endorse him.

The El Paso native proved that Texas is not completely red. He showed that staying “true to form” and being transparent can work in generating momentum towards change that doesn’t infringe on basic human rights, veterans, the LGBTQA+ community and minorities in Texas.

The question being asked now is “Will Beto run again in 2020 for senator or will he run for the Presidency?” No one really knows, and maybe O’Rourke doesn’t know either, though he has stated that he wouldn’t run for President. We do see an increase of desire among many people for him to do so though.

What we do know is that we made history in Texas with the help of Beto O’Rourke. He created a momentum for executing our civic duty by voting and when it comes back around in the near future we must show up again and vote.

O’Rourke taught us that it’s important that we continue to participate and support those representing us while creating dialogue that seeks to help communication with Texans who hold contrasting ideologies from ours because at the end of the day Texas is our home and the Texans in it are our brothers and sisters.