When Robert (Beto) O’Rourke announced that he was dropping out of the 2020 race for the White House, I’m pretty sure I heard audible cheers from around the nation. We thought – and hoped – we had seen the last of him, at least this year.
But we might not be quite so lucky.
Rumor has it that he might throw his hat into the ring for the Senate seat of Republican John Cornyn. Apparently, his die-hard fans haven’t given up on him and are pushing him to join the race, but he will need to make a decision soon. The deadline to enter is December 9.
If he does enter, it is pretty much guaranteed that he will get the Democratic nomination. Currently, five other Democrats are running against Cornyn for the seat. However, according to the polls, none of them really have a chance. When Beto’s name is added to the survey, he is the only one that looks to come anywhere close to having a fighting chance – with 46 percent to 42 percent in Cornyn’s favor. It also gives O’Rourke a 58 percent approval rating among Democrats.
However, this, by no means, means that Beto will win.
The first reason for this is that Beto has said he doesn’t want to run against Cornyn. And Cornyn is a formidable opponent to be sure. Looking back to last year, when Beto ran against Ted Cruz for his Senate seat, we have to agree that he did reasonably well. But he did lose nonetheless. And Cornyn is no Ted Cruz. He is generally far more well-liked than Cruz for starters. But more than that, Cornyn has much more seniority and has been in Republican leadership roles in the Senate for years. Already, polls show that Cornyn would beat Beto, and that’s just hypothetically.
The poll doesn’t even begin to take into the vast amount of funds that Cornyn has at his disposal, and the very little that Beto has due to his impractical spending on his presidential campaign.
According to fundraising emails sent by Cornyn, he has raised about $11 million for his race so far, with $3.2 million of that being earned in the third quarter. According to the Texas Tribune, 77 percent of those donations were from Texans, and 92 percent were $200 or less. And as the nature of the beast goes, those numbers will only increase as the election itself draws nearer.
Beto, on the other hand, has virtually no money to speak of. And even if he got it, there is no guarantee it would matter. Last year, when he ran against Ted Cruz, he raised (and promptly wasted) over $80 million. And he still lost. This year, even though he raised more than several candidates still in the fight for the White House, he again ran out of funds.
And given the diversity of the crowded Democratic field against Cornyn, the odds of him receiving blowback is quite good. Identity is a huge factor for the left-leaning and Beto, even with his Hispanic sounding name, will be one of three white contestants, running against two African-Americans and one Latina.
Beto’s other problem is that he is currently putting all of his efforts into a cause known as “Flip the Texas House,” which is trying to raise money and votes to flip at least nine currently Republican House seats to the left. If they achieve this, the majority of Texas seats will be Democratic, which as Beto says, will end “racist gerrymandering, and a chance to address gun violence, reproductive rights, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice and climate change in Texas.”
My, my, according to Beto, Texas, needs a complete overhaul.
According to the Houston Chronicle, “With Texas Democrats nine seats away from retaking the majority of seats in the Texas House, O’Rourke is trying to convince his donor base to send money to an organization called Flip The Texas House, which has targeted 17 House Districts in which Republican candidates won by fewer than 10 percentage points last year. More than half are districts in which O’Rourke won the majority of votes as he ran for U.S. Senate.”
It would be hard for him to concentrate on both this movement and a Senate run at the same time.
And dropping one to take up a cause he already announced he wasn’t interested in, doesn’t really look good for those looking for a steady and sincere candidate. Then again, Beto was “born to run,” right?