Beto O’Rourke invited to speak in New Hampshire

Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke has received an invitation from the New Hampshire Young Democrats to visit The Granite State as speculation abounds over the Democratic rising star’s presidential aspirations.

"We received an invitation to visit the state via email. No further action has been taken at this time," an O'Rourke campaign spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.

People familiar with the matter told CNBC that the group called Rob Friedlander, a senior advisor to the Texas Democrat's campaign, to request O'Rourke visit to tour parts of the state.


It is not clear if O’Rourke has yet responded to the invitation. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The invitation follows another request from the Polk County Democratic Party in Des Moines, Iowa to visit The Hawkeye State, which hosts the first presidential nominating contest of 2020.

New Hampshire also hosts a critical early primary contest.

O’Rourke, a three-term congressman who narrowly lost his Senate race in Texas to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGroup aiming to draft Beto O’Rourke unveils first 2020 video Howard Dean looking for a 'younger, newer' Democratic nominee in 2020 Congress can stop the war on science MORE this month, said this week he will not rule out a presidential run in 2020.

“Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out,” he told reporters after a town hall in El Paso, referring to his wife.

O’Rourke saw his star rise during the campaign after he was able to rake in millions of dollars in fundraising from individual online donations in The Lone Star State and excite the Democratic base in a way few had been able to do in Texas.

“When he's on the stump, it's engaging,” Lucas Meyer, President of the New Hampshire Young Democrats, told CNBC. “When he speaks you're excited and you know he believes in it. You want to buy into that movement. That's why people are excited.”

His ability to connect with the electorate has drawn comparisons between him and former President Barack Obama and triggered conjecture among voters and party donors that O’Rourke could be a tough opponent for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE in 2020.

“The party hasn’t seen this kind of enthusiasm since Obama,” a former Obama aide told The Hill. “There isn’t one other potential candidate out there that has people buzzing. And that’s exactly why people supported Obama and why they’ll support Beto.”

O’Rourke would likely enter a crowded primary field should he decide to run, facing off against other high-profile politicos such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBiden: 'We've learned in the last two years, it doesn't take much to awaken hate' 2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend BuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) Sanders2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Sanders knocks Trump in MLK Day speech Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Kamala Harris staffer mocks O'Reilly for saying Harris 'lost' his vote for president Harris after announcing presidential run says her 'highest priority' is protecting Mueller probe MORE (D-Calif.), Cory Boker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Kamala Harris staffer mocks O'Reilly for saying Harris 'lost' his vote for president Kamala Harris announces presidential campaign MORE (D-Mass.) and more.

A Morning Consult poll released earlier this month showed O’Rourke polling third among Democratic voters’ preference for a presidential nominee for 2020 behind Biden and Sanders.