After Beto O’Rourke Drops Out, Other Struggling Campaigns Signal They May Be Next
Kamala Harris and Julian Castro are losing their respective fights for relevance. Will the curtains be closing on their campaigns soon?
Beto O’Rourke’s exit from the Democratic presidential race last Friday wasn’t exactly shocking news, but it did give rise to speculation that other campaigns that have also struggled to gain ground in a crowded field would soon follow suit.
Just a day after O’Rourke dropped out, CNN reported that Julián Castro’s senior campaign staff members were advising other staffers to start looking for jobs with rival campaigns:
Julián Castro plans to refocus his 2020 presidential campaign on Iowa, Nevada and Texas in the coming days and is supporting his staffers looking for jobs with other campaigns, sources familiar with the plans tell CNN.
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary has struggled for months to raise money or get attention in the still large field of Democrats vying for the chance to take on President Donald Trump. Castro spent the final 10 days of October pushing to raise $800,000 and pledged to donors that he would drop out if he failed to hit that goal. The campaign narrowly hit the goal with hours to go on October 31.
But it was clear inside the San Antonio-based campaign even before the push began that the future was uncertain for the Texas Democrat. The Castro campaign senior leadership told staffers before they announced their fundraising push that whether or not they hit the number, staff should feel free to look for other opportunities.
And even when the campaign hit the fundraising goal, Castro’s senior aides again told staff that the campaign would likely have to make staffing adjustments to press on.
Some have already started doing so, according to the report.
By Monday, news was circulating that the Castro campaign was laying off staffers in two states effective next week in order to restructure and focus on what they see as key states in the coming weeks:
Julián Castro’s campaign will fire its staff in New Hampshire and South Carolina, an official familiar with the campaign told POLITICO. The campaign notified the state teams on Monday and their final day will be next week.
The source said the campaign will continue focusing on Iowa and Nevada with a $50,000 television ad buy in Iowa beginning Tuesday morning. The moves amount to a long-shot attempt to remain in the presidential contest in the hopes of catching fire before the first contests begin next February.
The Politico piece also notes that Castro has not yet qualified for this month’s presidential debate but still has a little over a week to do so:
In order to appear on the next debate stage, Castro needs to hit 3 percent in four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee or 5 percent in DNC-approved early-state surveys. He hasn’t met the mark in a single poll but he does have until Nov. 13 to qualify for the Nov. 20 debate in Atlanta.
Along with the Castro campaign’s woes are those of Sen. Kamala Harris, who has also had to lay off staffers in other states recently so she can go “all in” on trying to win the Iowa caucuses in early February.
Because Harris’ fall from the top tier was so dramatic, her campaign has been the subject of increased scrutiny from political observers in an attempt to pinpoint just what went wrong and how. Has the primary issue for Harris been the fact that she’s a woman of color, as she recently suggested?
No, says Forbes.com’s Bill Whalen:
How then to account for Harris’ meteoric rise (at this point in the race, just four months ago, she had surged to second place in both national and Iowa polls)? Did likely Democratic voters become misogynist racists over the summer and fall?
A more likely culprit than America not being ready for a President Kamala Harris: Sen. Kamala Harris not being ready for the presidential spotlight. Harris failed to clarify if she was for or against private health insurance. The long-awaited healthcare plan she eventually rolled out – kinda, sorta, Medicare-For-All, left her fellow Democrats perplexed.
Whatever momentum Harris had coming out of the initial June debate was soon squandered by her own ineptitude. And that has nothing to do race and/or gender.
That Harris’ issues with getting her message across to Democratic voters is a problem of her own making is a viewpoint shared by Politico’s Christopher Cadelago after interviews with dozens of people in and outside of her political circle:
Interviews with more than 50 people inside and around her campaign—including current and former aides, personal confidants and strategists, and Democratic officials who have watched Harris up close for nearly a decade—reveal how a candidate with so much promise, range and charisma has slid so far. Many of her dilemmas are self-creations. Harris undermined her national introduction with costly flubs on health care, feeding a critique that she lacks a strong ideological core and plays to opinion polls and the desires of rich donors. She was vague or noncommittal on question after question from voters at campaign stops. She leaned on verbal crutches instead of hammering her main points in high-profile TV moments. The deliberate, evidence-intensive way she arrives at decisions—one of her potential strengths in a matchup with Trump—often made her look wobbly and unprepared.
As to the other struggling lower tier campaigns, we all know Rep. Tulsi Gabbard isn’t going anywhere. But other candidates who haven’t polled well like Sens. Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar are still hanging on despite the fact that their fundraising numbers are not where they need to be to keep a viable campaign competitive going forward at this stage in the game.
Regardless of their reasons for sticking around, the struggle for these candidates is very real, so much so that the sniping has increased between those fighting for relevance and those who are leaving them in the dust:
“Just look at [Mayor Pete’s] track record as mayor. He has a bad track record with African Americans on the issues, and he’s almost acknowledged as much,” Castro said. “It is risky to nominate somebody that cannot appeal to one of our most important constituencies.”
Several candidates were irked earlier this week when Buttigieg said in an interview with Showtime’s “The Circus” that the race for the Democratic nomination was coming down to a choice between himself and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
“It’s naive for him to think that at this point, that the fate of the election has been determined,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) told “Face the Nation.” “Just look at history. You might need to review to know that what’s happening right now is not necessarily determinative of the outcome.”
We’ll find out soon enough.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —
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Why are all the Texas sanctuary city mayors dropping out?
They’re full. They’ve fleeced all the stupid progs from the coasts and will now sit back and suck the teat of their ‘campaign apparatus’ for a year or two.
Because they know they can only win California.
Texans elected them to be their sanctuary city mayors. Just like the sanctuary city mayors everywhere else. And like the others, they are not electable for POTUS.
This is a really stupid series of posts, even for you. First, Beto was never Mayor of anything – he was a congressmen from a 90% Mexican city, El Paso.
Now Julian was the ceremonial mayor of San Antonio, but that’s a 63% Mexican city. (and since it has City Manager style government, the Mayor position has no actual powers) Julian is a complete zero inside Texas – his only claim to fame is that Hillary tried to make him one of her protege’s. That’s the only reason he’s on the stage, and it’s why he is failing. He has no base.
Most of all, do you realize that Texas State Government passed a law outlawing any declaration of “Sanctuary Cities” for immigration, and that this was upheld by the 5th circuit? See, that’s what makes Texas so different from California – our State Government is on our side, your State Government is dedicated to California’s destruction.
El Paso, Texas.
Incomprably the armpit of the United States. No matter where else you might find yourself in life–no matter how bad things might get–at least you can always say “well, it could be worse. I could be back in El Paso…..”
48.3% of voting Texans voted for Beto.
You are 1.8% from being California.
just fyi, when Beto ran for Senator, he ran as a moderate. None of his recent woke nonsense.
Both the Houston Chronicle and the Texas Monthly agree (and they are both politically liberal) that Beto will never win another race in Texas again, not after the last two months.
I thought Thpartacuth had already dropped out.
I guess I should pay more attention. Or not.
If ineptitude is what killed Kamala Harris’s campaign, why is Elizabeth Warren still a contender?
Nope. It’s misogyny alright! No other explanation.
Leaving only a hair-product slick and a STD
Ewwww… that’s not hair product
Every time I see Castro, I have a tremendous urge to throttle him. First I’d don latex gloves because he is so slimy.
He and his brother are disgusting little Marxist scum, who grew up on the knees of America-hating racists who plotted to “reconquer” parts of America for Mexico. He’s a pathetic little cheating rat who got busted misappropriating funds from HUD, and was rewarded for such behavior by Jugears with an appointment to be HUD Secretary.
They HAVE reconquered it.
Well I can’t exactly “like” that comment FG, but…yeah.
He literally reeks of arrogance.
He is possibly even more annoying that the late, unlamented, Beta.
They should be folding up their tents. This is a very discouraging time for a Democrat to run for President. DJT is a popular incumbent, with a fine record. The best result for most of them is to get a little bit of national exposure without flaming out completely.
It must be hard to struggle for relevance when they didn’t have it to begin with.
Castro was never going to be considered, he looks as slimy as his party acts. Harris shows why she needed to sleep her way into politics. Spartacus, well, he was a manufactured story thunk up by T-Bone and his other imaginary friends. Which is OK, he hasn’t grown up yet, so there is no need to put away his childhood toys.
Of course after the election results tonight, regardless how they go, the propaganda machine will claim it shows the people hate Trump as much as they do. So, any of the above losers would of course be able to beat him.
It all starts too early. Dropping out before any votes are cast shows how ridiculous the process is. In some ways it’s just another racket that serves to suck up money and create more animosity between people. How much did Beto lose as he crashed in a sea of hate?
The cast of characters diminishes, but the daily soap opera goes on, like on tv, with predictable reactions from all the players in the cancel outrage culture leading to 2020.
Now what’s left to do is wait for events to play out, and maybe even for the slow wheels of justice to arrive.
Hard to believe an idiot like Castro was at the head of a multi billion dollar govt agency. Well maybe not so hard when I consider the inept buffoon that appointed him.
“Julián Castro plans to refocus his 2020 presidential campaign on Iowa, Nevada and Texas in the coming days and is supporting his staffers looking for jobs with other campaigns, sources familiar with the plans tell CNN.”
I’d like to sit in on that job interview.
“Warren Campaign Staffer: I see you’d like to move over from the Julian Castro campaign and work for Elizabeth Warren now?
Former Julian Castro Campaign Staffer: Yes, I’d love to.
WCS: Can you tell me about your role on Mr. Castro’s campaign?
FJCCS: I helped put together his platform, I was deeply involved in planning his overall campaign strategy, and I was involved in voter out reach.
WCS: Basically you had a critical role in making him totally irrelevant.
FJCCS: Yes, and I’d like to use those same skills for Elizabeth Warrant.
WCS: We’d love to bring you aboard, but I’m afraid we employ a group of Ivy League Marxist economics professors that Ms. Warren knows from her time at Harvard, and have Hillary Clinton as an unpaid advisor, who are already doing a bang up job of making Elizabeth Warren totally irrelevant. Have you tried the Sanders campaign?”
Seriously, if you worked for the “Elect Castro Campaign” maybe, just maybe, you can get a job mucking out milking shed at a dairy farm.
Kamala Harris’ biggest problem probably is that she just is not remotely likeable. Donald Trump, Jr., hit the nail on the head a few weeks ago when he tweeted about how she is the only person who finds herself funny. She says these cringeworthy things and then laughs at her awful attempts at wit, the only person in the room who does laugh. It reflects an inability to connect with people. Elizabeth Warren has a similar problem, but she seems to realize it, which may be why she tries to overcome her personality deficit by posing for all those photos (which she erroneously calls selfies).
Castro’s problem is that there is nothing there. Sh*t can roll only so far uphill.