Beto O’Rourke Ends Presidential Bid

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mario Tama/Getty Images


We ran the numbers: There are 557 news articles covering this topic. 52% (288) are left leaning, 41% (231) center, 7% (38) right leaning.

On Friday, Beto O’Rourke announced that he is ending his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Right-leaning articles tend to emphasize O’Rourke’s uniquely strict gun control proposals, while left-leaning articles point to his campaign’s lack of funding as the reason for his withdrawal and centrist articles report extensively on O’Rourke’s statements about the end of his campaign.

The Washington Times published a right-leaning article headlined “Beto O'Rourke's dashed White House dreams trolled by NRA: 'Hell yes'”. The article reports on a series of tweets from the National Rifle Association celebrating O’Rourke’s defeat and asserting that running on a platform of strict gun control is never a good idea. The NRA also tweeted a photo proclaiming “Hell yes. Beto fails,” referencing O’Rourke’s assertion “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Right-leaving coverage in general focuses on O’Rourke’s gun control agenda.

A left-leaning New York Times article, in contrast, analyzes other reasons for O’Rourke’s defeated campaign, including limited campaign funding and the big personalities and leftist leanings of his competitors. The article notes, “By leaving the race, Mr. O’Rourke completes the winding path from his early status as a potential front-runner to his drastic decision over the summer to reframe his candidacy as an activist crusader following the mass shooting targeting Latinos in his home city of El Paso.” Since that shooting, O’Rourke had centered his campaign on issues of gun control and racism. The article also notes that O’Rourke has faced significant funding challenges for much of his campaign. He will not be running for any office in 2020, despite pressure from Democrats to challenge Senator Ted Cruz as he did in 2018.

A centrist article from The Hill reports on O’Rourke’s comments upon dropping out of the race. He announced the end of his campaign in a Medium post, in which he wrote “My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.” He also asserted “I will still be part of all the causes that brought us together here in the first place.” The article notes that O’Rourke was at risk of not qualifying for Democratic debates in November and December.