“The excitement has just kinda died down as we’ve seen him just be another white guy running for president”
It was obvious that Robert “Beto” O’Rourke is getting desperate when he said this week that the United States was founded on white supremacy. Now we can confirm that Beto-mania is yesterday’s news. Someone needs to tell Beto it’s over.
This Washington Post article by Jenna Johnson and Emily Davies reads like a campaign epitaph:
They used to be Beto O’Rourke fans. But Texans’ allegiance to him has vanished as quickly as ‘Beto-mania.’
Just nine months ago, attorney Katie Baron was so inspired by Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in Texas that she commissioned a sprawling mural in an alleyway in east Austin featuring the candidate in a Superman-like pose.
After O’Rourke lost the race and began mulling a presidential campaign, the artist added a sweeping “2020” in blue paint — providing what seemed to be yet one more call for O’Rourke to get into the crowded race.
Now, four months into O’Rourke’s campaign, Baron wishes he had stayed out.
After the first Democratic presidential debate last month, Baron posted an altered picture of the mural on a Facebook page dedicated to the artwork. She had replaced O’Rourke’s face with Sen. Kamala D. Harris’s and wrote: “Don’t worry, still got PLENTY of love for Beto, but Kamala earned herself a little recognition too last night!” The comments filled with messages from angry O’Rourke supporters and a few excited Harris backers.
This is the most telling part:
“If the primary vote was tomorrow, he wouldn’t have my vote,” said Baron, 35, who likes Harris (D-Calif.) for her sharp intellect and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for her methodical policy papers.
“Being part of the Beto-mania that was fueling the fire, I can see why he kind of thought he had no choice but to enter,” she said. “Honestly, I did get a little caught up. We were still riding the wave of the midterms.”
Beto has simply outrun his usefulness for the left. When people believed there was a chance he could defeat Ted Cruz, he was a national sensation. Now that he’s sharing the stage with so many other candidates, he is boring by comparison.
“I think Texas still loves Beto. The difference is Texas voters have more suitors now,” said Ed Espinoza, the executive director of Progress Texas, a rapid response media organization based in Austin…
“The excitement has just kinda died down as we’ve seen him just be another white guy running for president,” said Gabrielle Harris, 19, the vice president of the Texas College Democrats who was a student fellow for O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign.
At the time of this writing, Beto has 2.2% support in the Real Clear Politics average of polls. That’s a full three points behind Pete Buttigieg.
David Siders of Politico writes:
Reeling O’Rourke seeks a way forward
He got battered in his first presidential debate. His poll numbers have sunk to low single digits. Glowing press coverage has given way to questions about how long he can hang on.
Beto O’Rourke’s candidacy today is almost an inversion of what it was at the start of his campaign less than four months ago. Back then, he bathed in national attention and raised a staggering $6.1 million on the first day of his campaign, while drawing criticism for his light policy footprint and lack of campaign infrastructure.
Today, even as he’s assembled a stable of experienced operatives and released a spate of policy proposals, the former Texas congressman is polling at 2 percent nationally in the latest Morning Consult survey. One Iowa poll released this week put him at 1 percent in the state. A fundraising machine in his Senate campaign last year, O’Rourke has dodged questions about his latest performance in the money race.
The writing has been on the wall for a while now. I’ll leave you with this clip from CNN on the night of the first Democrat debate:
“Unfortunately I think that may have been Beto’s last hurrah… I think he’s done.”
CNN’s @VanJones68 pans Beto O’Rourke’s performance during Wednesday’s #DemDebate, saying he fell far short of the “hope and expectation” his supporters had for him. https://t.co/m0OaeKKWqI pic.twitter.com/LoDw80IvLs
— CNN (@CNN) June 27, 2019
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