Political reporter says O'Rourke skipping Senate bid for White House run could hurt Dems

Political reporter Eli Yokley said in an interview that aired Thursday on "What America's Thinking" that former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights Opposition research requests for O'Rourke 'have completely died off': report MORE's (D-Texas) decision to run for president in 2020 instead of for Senate could end up being a negative for Democrats. 

"The biggest negative for Democrats right now is probably Beto O'Rourke deciding not to run for Senate against [Sen. John] Cornyn (R)," Yokley, a political reporter at Morning Consult, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on Wednesday. 

"Texas is a hard state. Beto had a pretty good base there. To lose him as a candidate is sort of a loss," he continued.

While O'Rourke ultimately lost his 2018 Senate bid against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzJim Carrey fires back at 'Joe McCarthy wanna-be' Cruz Hillicon Valley: Google delays cutting off Huawei | GOP senators split over breaking up big tech | Report finds DNC lagging behind RNC on cybersecurity GOP senators split over antitrust remedies for big tech MORE (R-Texas), the race showed vulnerability for Republicans in the longtime ruby red state. 

O'Rourke was thought to be a candidate to run for Cornyn's seat in 2020, but the former congressman made the decision to join the Democratic Primary race, which is on track to be one of the largest in history. 

O'Rourke has consistently trailed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests Iowa Democrats brace for caucus turnout surge MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Democrats sense new momentum in Trump tax return fight Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie becomes first African to deliver Yale graduation speech MORE in Democratic Primary polls.

If O'Rourke ran for Senate in 2020, it would likely increase Democrats' chances at taking back the upper chamber. They would have to pick up four seats to flip the Senate and seem to have a more favorable map than in 2018 when they lost seats overall.

— Julia Manchester