O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke will hold an event Friday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as the Texas Democrat mulls a 2020 presidential bid, a spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.

O’Rourke is scheduled to attend a two-hour meet-and-greet with university students and staff that is not open to the public or press. 

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“BETO IS COMING! He will be talking briefly about his career and what has brought him to where he is, but the majority of the time will be spent fielding questions from the audience,” a Facebook event page for the talk says.

The Associated Press was the first to report on the meeting.

Wisconsin will likely play an outsized role in the 2020 electoral map as it was one of the states President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE succeeded in flipping in his surprise victory against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClintons, Stacey Abrams meeting Texas Democrats Biden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote MORE, winning the Badger State by less than 1 percentage point.

O’Rourke electrified the progressive base and tapped into a record amount of small donations in November when he ran an insurgent campaign to unseat Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Human rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action MORE (R), losing by less than 3 points. 

Election prognosticators almost immediately began floating him as a potentially potent opponent to President Trump in 2020, citing his Texas roots as a possible appeal among blue-collar Trump voters Democrats hope to flip next year.

Should O’Rourke throw his hat into the ring, he would be joining what is expected to be the most crowded primary field in modern history.

Several high-profile Democrats have already announced their candidacies, with many more expected to come. Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - CDC equates Delta to chickenpox in contagiousness Harris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Why in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? MORE (D-Calif.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenCalifornia Democrats warn of low turnout in recall election Pelosi disputes Biden's power to forgive student loans Warren hits the airwaves for Newsom ahead of recall election MORE (D-Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandTreat broadband as infrastructure and we have a chance to get it right House panel looks to help military sexual assault survivors To make energy green, remove red tape MORE (D-N.Y.), Cory BookerCory BookerHuman rights can't be a sacrificial lamb for climate action Senate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer MORE (D-N.J.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation | Amazon fined 6M by EU regulators Democrats urge tech CEOs to combat Spanish disinformation Bill would honor Ginsburg, O'Connor with statues at Capitol MORE (D-Minn.), and others, have already announced their presidential bids, with heavyweights such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersAngst grips America's most liberal city Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire Democrats say they have the votes to advance .5T budget measure MORE (I-Vt.) waiting in the wings.