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 CruzCrenshaw looms large as Democrats look to flip Texas House seat SCOTUS confirmation in the last month of a close election? Ugly The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' 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 TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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 BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters Republicans not immune to the malady that hobbled Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election MORE (I-Vt.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTexas Democratic official urges Biden to visit state: 'I thought he had his own plane' The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden on Trump: 'He'll leave' l GOP laywers brush off Trump's election remarks l Obama's endorsements A game theorist's advice to President Trump on filling the Supreme Court seat MORE (D-Calif.), Cory Boker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds 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.