He ran for governor of Texas and the U.S. Senate. Each time, Beto O'Rourke made progressivesTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkia,TrademarkiaTrademarkiaTrademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia,Trademarkia, He made fun of Republicans. He compared JFK to another person. Crowds were drawn by him.

Beto O'Rourke lost.

Not even an endorsement from musical megastar and fashion icon Harry Styles could help O'Rourke oust incumbent Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican who launched a series of culture wars popular with the conservative base, but was also criticized after the massacre of 19 children at an elementary school in Uval

O'Rourke challenged Abbott at a press conference after the shooting. "You're not doing anything." The governor was told from the audience that they were all doing nothing. It was the kind of confrontation that thrilled progressives who were frustrated by the lack of change.

It was not enough for the third time.

Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke bows his head.
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke listens to a question from a supporter at a campaign rally on Aug. 24 in Humble, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Democrats are desperate to make inroads in Texas, where the emerging Latino vote is the focus of intensive pitches by both parties, but after a third high-profile defeat, they will most likely look to another candidate to bring them victory.

The end of Tuesday's defeat marks the end of a half-decade stretch in which O'Rourke stirred Democratic hopes but failed to fulfill them. He lost an electoral contest in 2016 to the same House seat he had held for the previous four years. He has gone after some of the most sought after elected offices, only to come up short.

The head of the Democratic Party in Texas told the Post that he had been campaigning for almost a year.

There will be questions about whether the wunderkind's love of James Joyce and grungy 1990s rock was more than a fad. Will Barack Obama be able to translate his star power into political victories?

The governor's election in Texas has just ended so it may be too soon to ask that question. Since a life outside electoral politics is not possible, it is a question that naturally restless O'Rourke is asking himself.

He told Vanity Fair that he was born to be in it and that Annie Leibovitz was his photographer.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addresses supporters at his midterm election night party in Houston on Nov. 6, 2018. (Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters)

After a run for the U.S. Senate in which he came close to ousting the incumbent, Ted Cruz, national Democrats were looking to punish him.

Funds and hopes were raised by O'Rourke. A Republican strategist confessed to the Dallas Morning News that Democrat enthusiasm was at an 11. Potential supporters are trying to wrap their heads around the reality that this is a real race.

Even as others wondered if his loss could be attributed to having taken progressive positions that were unlikely to play well in the exurbs of Houston and Dallas where a more conventional style of politics is practiced, some saw a star in the making.

After losing to Cruz, O'Rourke presented himself as the youthful leader of a party desperate for new voices to articulate bold ideas. Desperate for a person who could capture the same energy that Obama had in 2008. O'Rourke was charismatic but compassionate but also had flashes of anger.

My grandmother taught me to love JFK. A columnist for the Irish Times wrote that he saw similarities between the Texan and Kennedy. At a time when Democrats were worried about Joe Biden becoming the party's nominee, O'Rourke held out the hope of a better future.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott waits to take pictures with supporters after a "Get Out The Vote" rally on Oct. 27 in Katy, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

The future didn't come to pass. O'Rourke started the year with a road trip that involved him writing from the dentist's chair. He promised a positive campaign that would bring out the very best from everyone.

That promise was rendered fanciful by the reality of a crowded primary Pete Buttigieg, who is running for the Democratic nomination, denounced the proposal as a progressive "purity test" because of O'Rourke's support of a gun buy back program.

His openness to stripping churches of tax-exempt status if they didn't perform same-sex marriages was seen as helpful to the party trying to convince Americans that it wasn't the caricature of far- left ideologues depicted nightly on Fox News.

The reviews were really bad as the campaign ended. The New York magazine headline was "Beto O'Rourke 2020 has been worse than useless". The most spectacular failure of the Democratic presidential primary was attributed to him.

Despite the fact that Abbott's increasing attention to conservative culture war issues made him vulnerable, national enthusiasm was noticeably absent when O'Rourke announced he was running against him. As Election Day drew closer, O'Rourke raised more money than Abbott. Voters decided to stick with Abbott and keep him in power.

It wasn't a good result for O'Rourke, but he may try again. The presidential primary season officially starts on Wednesday.