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Beto O’Rourke supporters build student network ahead of possible White House bid

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A Democratic group seeking to persuade former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke to run for president will launch mobilization efforts on college campuses nationwide to coincide with what they believe will be his entry into the race by month’s end.

The Draft Beto campaign, founded in December by former staffers to O’Rourke and former President Barack Obama, is organizing “Students for Beto” chapters on roughly 100 campuses in about 30 primary and general election states, said Nate Lerner, a Democratic strategist and co-founder of DraftBeto.org.

“Our goal is to replicate the model and success of Beto’s student outreach efforts during the midterms,” Lerner told Reuters on Wednesday. “Winning the Millennial vote will be key for Beto in both the Democratic primary and to defeat Trump.”

O’Rourke, 46, has said he will decide by the end of February if he will enter the already crowded Democratic field seeking to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s election. 

O’Rourke’s staff did not respond to requests for comment on the Draft Beto campus efforts.

Lerner, also a former Obama staffer, said he had not spoken to O’Rourke or those in his inner circle in recent days but that he expected the former congressman to run.

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O’Rourke received huge support from young Texans after campaigning at many colleges during his bid to unseat Republican Ted Cruz from the U.S. Senate but narrowly lost in November.

O’Rourke garnered 61 percent of voters aged 18-34, a 23 percentage point advantage over Cruz, according to the Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll conducted online with voters on Election Day.

In addition to weighing a White House bid, O’Rourke said at a public lunch honoring him in his native El Paso on Tuesday that he also had not ruled out being a 2020 vice presidential candidate or challenging Texas’s other Republican U.S. senator, John Cornyn, when he seeks re-election next year.

Speculation around O’Rourke’s plans has mounted this month after several high-profile public appearances. He sat for an interview with Oprah Winfrey in New York and held a rival rally to decry Trump’s immigration policy as the president promoted his planned border wall in El Paso. He also visited the general election battleground state of Wisconsin last week.

Reporting by Tim Reid in Los Angeles; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and James Dalgleish

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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The Vatican’s latest official document is an insult to LGBTQ people — and to history

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During the fourth-century, Sergius and Bacchus, two inseparable Syrian soldiers in the Roman emperor Galerius’ army, were outed as secret Christians when they refused to pay homage to the god Jupiter. The incensed emperor ordered them beaten, chained, and then, as their fourth-century hagiographer explained, paraded through the barracks with “all other military garb removed… and women’s clothing placed on them.” Both men were sent to trial; Bacchus refused to abjure his faith in Christ and was beaten to death by his fellow Roman soldiers as punishment. The night before Sergius was to be similarly asked to recant his Christianity, the spirit of Bacchus appeared before his partner. With his “face as radiant as an angel’s, wearing an officer’s uniform,” Bacchus asked, “Why do you grieve and mourn, brother? If I have been taken from you in body, I am still with you in the bond of union.”

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Trump drowned in ‘heavy metal jokes’ after trying to tag Dem challengers as ‘motley crew’

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President Donald Trump trotted out a new catchphrase to mock the field of Democratic presidential candidates, but it didn't get quite the reaction he may have hoped.

The president insisted polls looked good for his re-election chances, despite leaked internal polling that says otherwise, and tried to tag his potential 2020 challengers as a "motley crew."

Only Fake Polls show us behind the Motley Crew. We are looking really good, but it is far too early to be focused on that. Much work to do! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

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Trump betting he can win re-election by spinning new conspiracy theories to explain investigations: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump's association with Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential election may be over. But that does not mean the president is free from oversight.

According to Politico, Trump is still facing 15 civil and criminal probes by at least nine federal, state, and municipal agencies on everything from obstruction of justice to campaign finance violations to using his office to enrich his family and businesses. But president is not bothered by these investigations — or at least, he believes that he can use them to his political advantage.

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