When Beto O’Rourke 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 national TV.
While his 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. After all, his unconventional 2018 campaign was completely ignored at first, and he ended up a stone’s throw from 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 on the mantle of the young, surging upstart.
Beto has seemingly 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 a while, so let me be blunt: Beto will not win the primary, if you ask me.
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 in some polls. He continues to sag. He is polling even worse in the first few primary states. His donors are now looking elsewhere. His top advisers have already left.
All this to say that this is good news.
Do you know where Beto is still polling high? TEXAS.