When Beto announced he would run for president, I was genuinely excited. He was my top choice. Yet Beto made a fatal mistake: he decided to engage in what he referred to as an “anti-media” strategy. In other words, he refused to go on TV.
While his distant rivals held televised town halls that reached millions, Beto insisted on only holding personal events in almost 100 cities so he could personally interact with voters. It was an idealistic and noble effort, just like when he eschewed PAC money in his Senate race, and I hoped against hope that he would prove us naysayers wrong again. After all, his unconventional 2018 campaign was completely ignored at first, and he ended up a stone’s throw of winning against an incumbent conservative in a red state.
Yet trying to connect with a nation of over 260 million people in personal settings was a bridge too far. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, on the other hand, engaged in the exact opposite strategy: he went on any outlet that would take him. He is very telegenic, and his sharp wit reached the masses. He has exploded in the polls, and took the mantle of the young, surging upstart.
Beto has since recognized his mistake, which is why he’s appearing on Maddow, Colbert, and anyone else who will feature him. Unfortunately, in politics, once you have the perception of being a falling star in your race, it’s damn near impossible to recover. I’ve been in politics for awhile so let me be blunt: Beto will not win the primary. Barring any significant surprise, it is virtually certain that our nominee’s last name will be Biden, Warren, or Buttigieg—with a possibility that it could still be Sanders or Harris. Beto, however, has now dropped to 5% and now trails Cory Booker. He continues to sag. He is polling even worse in the first few primary states. His donors are now looking elsewhere. His top advisors have already left.
All this to say that this is good news.
Do you know where Beto is still polling high? TEXAS.
In a head-to-head matchup, Beto beats Trump in Texas.
Do you know who else he beats? John freaking Coryn, the incumbent Senator in Texas.
Somehow, John Coryn is even less popular than Ted Cruz. Not even Ted Cruz backed him during his last election.
Cruz barely survived last time. Beto’s surge in voter enthusiasm helped several Democratic congressmen in safe GOP districts win their seats while others gave the blue team their closest election in years. Even worse for the GOP is the fact that Texas is growing by 1,000 new residents per day. Most people are moving to the suburbs of the major cities where John Coryn won big last time. Dallas and Houston suburbs have already flipped to the Dem category. San Antonio, meanwhile, has so many immigrants, including many from Africa, that Laura Ingraham screamed on Fox that they are “repopulating” the whites. Long story short, there will be almost a million new residents by next election.
In the past, the fight would have been in the suburbs, with the Dems holding the urban areas and the GOP holding the rural populace. That dynamic has shifted hard, with the suburbs turning reliably blue. Texas is still red, but is becoming more purple everyday. Within a decade, the entire state will turn blue.
You know who else is terrified of Beto jumping in the race? John Coryn. He told his buddy Hugh Hewitt as much in an interview, and said what will save him is the fact that Beto has “stars in his eyes” for higher office.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Marco Rubio took forever to realize that his 2016 presidential campaign was going nowhere. Despite a firm promise that he would never run for Senate again, he changed his mind just four months before the election, received the nomination and won. We are now over 16 months away from election day 2020, so Beto has plenty of time to change his mind. Texas even allows you to run for two offices at once, (unlike Florida), if Beto still wanted to hold out hope for a miracle. But really, why would he? He has a real shot to win in Texas, and what’s more, we NEED him. If he’s serious about making a difference, this is where it has to happen.
Stephen Colbert tried to get him to rethink his plan at the 2:38 mark:
Allow me to rant for a second.
I shouldn’t have to be pleading Democrats to run for Senate. It is more critical than even the presidency.
Mitch McConnell has done more to undermine our functioning government than anyone, to include Trump. McConnell has turned the Senate into a partisan graveyard. There is no such thing as bi-partisan legislation, he has stated that he won’t pass anything. He destroyed the Senate rules to cram as many right-wing extremist judges as possible. Assuming we win the Presidency in 2020, if McConnell is still the leader, he will not allow a vote on anyone or anything. Anyone who thinks he will vote on a cabinet officer for the Democratic president is delusional. Once Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes from this earth, he will hold open her seat until he can get a president to his liking.
Real change won’t happen unless Dems capture the Senate.
Democrats like Beto O’Rourke are acting selfish. It’s not just him.
Steve Bullock, the former governor of Montana, is extremely popular in that state. He could easily defeat the unpopular Steve Daines. Bullock has thus far steadfastly refused to run for that winnable seat in favor of a ridiculous quest to be president, in which is polling around 0%.
John HIckenlooper of Colorado left office with a 50% approval rating, which is about 20 points higher than the underwater approval rating of Cory Gardner, one of the most vulnerable republicans in the Senate. He is no chance of winning the nomination and is also polling around 0%. However, like Bullock, he said he wants to run for an executive office rather than be a legislator. He said “You are one of 100. And my natural inclination is to go somewhere where I can create that team.”
OK, would you rather caucus with a large group that makes policy and be one of the most influential politicians in America? Or put a team together for a quest that has statistically the same chance as me for running for president.
Stacey Abrams is another one I’m disappointed in. She came within 1.4% of winning the last time, and if the GOP hadn’t of cheated, she would have. This time, not only is David Perdue is extremely vulnerable, but Abrams would be running for Senate in a presidential year that doubles the turnout. I heard she was concerned about being a two-time loser, but I would argue that not taking a shot at all will fade you into obscurity a lot faster.
There are so many vulnerable republicans this year in Arizona, Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, Kentucky, and so on. Trump is creating openings everywhere… he is even underwater in freaking Louisiana. His poor poll numbers are dragging down GOP candidates across the nation, and have given us a once in a lifetime shot that we won’t get again. If you are a top Dem contender, than freaking STEP UP!!
The only way we can screw this up is by shooting ourselves in the foot.
Unfortunately, that’s the one thing Democrats are always good at.