O’Rourke’s campaign started in a similar manner to how Cruz’s 2012 campaign did– grassroots. But that is the end of their similarities.
Similar to most Democrats running in the 2018 election, O’Rourke’s campaign is running on steam from the left’s fiery hatred for President Donald Trump. In some cases, they will win because of this. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Republicans lose the House– but I also wouldn’t count on it.
Many on both sides of the aisle strongly believe that this loud uproar against Trump will undoubtedly lead to numerous Democratic wins– even in deep red states like Texas.
Let me point out that in the 2016 Presidential Election the majority of this same population thought Hillary Clinton would without a doubt win. I mean– how could an experienced woman lose to a brash celebrity with no political experience?
Personally, I wasn’t sure who would win the 2016 Presidential Election but I was not confident that Clinton would win with a slam dunk as many believed. From my point of view, even though social media, the news media and the people around me were screaming their support for Clinton, I knew that there was power in the silent majority. While it was unclear if the silent majority would vote Trump, I knew they wouldn’t vote Clinton.
In the 2016 Presidential Election, it was cool to vote for Clinton. Voting Trump meant you were a racist, sexist, homophobic, bigot who had no morals and no brain (those are not my words but those were the words I saw on my social media). So of course, when people are saying you’re these terrible things if you are going to vote for Trump (even it’s because you think he is the better of two evils and would pick better SCOTUS nominees) you’re probably not going to share your views. I know I didn’t.
In comparison, in past presidential elections, people on both sides proudly displayed their signs. Even in 2004 while living in liberal Portland, Oregon, my family proudly displayed our selection of Bush Cheney signs and bumper stickers. Sure, we had issues, like our neighbor stealing our signs, but it didn’t matter. We were proud supporters and we weren’t labeled as evil for it.
Anyways, when 2016’s election day rolled around and Trump won the world freaked out in shock and disbelief and I sat unshaken. I wasn’t surprised.
As hard as it may seem to believe, the majority of America doesn’t actively post their political beliefs on social media and doesn’t live in urban areas that tend to be more liberal. The majority of America lives in small towns, where they pledge allegiance to the flag, drive their Chevys, go hunting, don’t excessively use social media and tend to vote Republican. Yes, it was the silent majority that swung the election of 2016 and it will be the same for Texas’ 2018 election.
Now, Texas Republicans aren’t shy to say they are such. They are loud, proud, red-blooded, tough Texans. But, because it’s the norm, they don’t need to shout about it.
The Democrats in Texas, on the other hand, have to be loud. They have to say, “Hey, vote Beto.” Because if they didn’t, people wouldn’t even know there was an O’Rourke to vote for.
They have to put signs in their yards for the Senate race (and let’s be real most Americans don’t put signs in their yard unless it’s a Presidential race. Heck, most people can’t name their representatives). They do this because this, in their minds, is their chance. And, to some extent, it is their chance. It is Texas Democrats’ chance to have an election where the Democrat does better than usual, but hold my beer while I break it to you– O’Rourke isn’t winning.
Ah yes, he has fundraised a lot of money. And oh yes, tell me again how he did it without Super-PACs. Great, kudos to him.
But here is the deal– Cruz doesn’t need to outraise O’Rourke. He has plenty of money raised already, he has a slew of big named Texans that support him, he has name recognition and he has already done an incredible job as Senator (be my guest to compare how many bills Cruz has sponsored or introduced that became law and compare it to that of O’Rourke).
O’Rourke, on the other hand, doesn’t have any of that.
What else does O’Rourke not have? He doesn’t know how to be a Senator and what it takes.
For starters, a Senator, contrary to what O’Rourke thinks, has a lot going on and can’t, unfortunately, take time to talk to every single constituent and personally write every single press release.
Press releases are crucial because it allows the public to look and see exactly what their elected official is doing, how they are voting, what bills are they sponsoring and introducing, and it helps them keep them accountable.
O’Rourke’s webpage doesn’t even have a place for press releases. He does, however, have a blog that he hasn’t updated since January (it’s April).
Now, I was told that the reason for this is because he doesn’t believe it’s right to have someone else write his words and what he is doing. Which, on some level is noble of him. But see, that’s just not how it works. You are not going to be able to run a Senate office– let alone be a leader for your constituents– if you can’t handle having a press secretary help you get your message out. You just can’t lead alone. It takes a team. And If you aren’t able to fathom trusting others with helping you do your job, why should anyone trust you with the job yourself?
Now, there are many more things I could go on about but I won’t. I’ll leave you with the numbers and the numbers say it all.
According to the New York Times, the results of Texas’ 2018 primary elections consisted of 1,037,779 Texans voted Democrat and 1,543,674 voted Republican.
It’s more than likely that no one will be switching parties like they did in the 2016 presidential election. So those numbers alone speak for themselves.
But to elaborate a bit more– O’Rourke received 61.8 percent of the Democratic vote, while Cruz won 81.3 percent of the Republican vote. Even if Cruz failed to gain the support of the other 14.7 percent of Republican votes and O’Rourke received the other 38.2 percent of the Democratic vote, Cruz would still win.
O’Rourke has earned some kudos for mobilizing Democratic voters in Texas (my home state of Oregon could really use a Republican O’Rourke) but he won’t earn the title of Senator.
Cruz’s “Tough as Texas” campaign will ultimately smother O’Rourke like the sun smothers President George W. Bush’s hometown of Midland, Texas.