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 CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters 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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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 BidenJoe BidenSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Giuliani says he discussed Biden with Ukrainian official MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona Rising Warren faces uphill climb with black voters Inslee drops out of 2020 presidential race MORE (D-Calif.), Cory Boker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenKrystal Ball: Elites have chosen Warren as The One; Lauren Claffey: Is AOC wrong about the Electoral College? Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster 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.