The Democrats drew blood last night from Texas’s Republican party after a gruesome fight.
Robert “Beto” O’Rourke lost against Republican Ted Cruz despite running the most expensive race in history with over $70 million in his coffers, the backing of Hollywood and Democratic politicians, and so much media attention that A-list celebrities would consider it a bit much.
Republicans should feel good that they resisted such pressure to bring Cruz the victory he got, but instead, there’s apprehension. Cruz had momentum thanks to the Kavanaugh confirmation and an established base that was ready to support him no matter what. He had a fired up base willing to defend the state from outside forces trying to turn Texas blue.
Cruz’s seat is safe for now, but for how long? Cruz may not have the series of dramatic events motivating Republicans and Independents the next time around. Cruz’s victory was as much Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s and Trump’s as it was his.
For all intents and purposes, O’Rourke was not a stand-out candidate. He had a likable personality that reminded people a lot of Barack Obama, and just like Obama, O’Rourke spoke in platitudes and used a lot of flowery words. His themes were hope, change, togetherness, and acceptance.
However, if you tried to name any of his accomplishments, you’d likely draw a blank, and for good reason. He hasn’t really accomplished anything during his time in politics. What he is famous for, however, is surviving a recall election in his hometown after he was caught benefiting his father-in-law’s development company, as well as his own tech company, after seizing land from El Paso’s poor and handing it over to be developed for a profit.
He’s also famous for fleeing the scene of his own drunk driving accident, and later claiming the officer who wrote the report lied about him being stopped by a person at the accident site while trying to run away. O’Rourke and the police didn’t seem to get along well as he called them the “new Jim Crow.”
Beneath all of O’Rourke’s carefully crafted public persona was nothing of real substance, and something a little less than admirable. It should have been an open and closed case, with Cruz running away with the election, but it wasn’t. O’Rourke finished the race nipping at Cruz’s heels instead of gasping for air far behind him.
In a state as red as Texas is supposed to be, this is fascinating news for Democrats.
As Cruz himself told podcast host Steven Crowder, Texas has been trending purple for some time now. The reddest of the red states is likely not going to stay red for much longer.
The reason for this is simple. Texas is a victim of its own success.
Being so friendly to businesses is going to cause them to move here. The main reason they would want to move here is to escape the blue states they typically come from in order to escape all the regulations, fees, fines, and taxes they were previously burdened with. This also means that they will bring their blue state workers with them, who bring their blue state voting habits along for the ride.
Oddly, many of these voters don’t understand that Texas is so successful because of its economic structure and its approach to minimal government. They bring with them their ideas that government is necessary to solve societal problems, and as they’ve been told, we have a lot of societal problems that need to be dealt with.
They’re primed to vote for someone like O’Rourke before they even unpack the last box.
And the number of people moving here from blue states like New York and California isn’t some minor trickle. It’s the blue wave we kept hearing about during the midterms. As I wrote last year, New York and California alone saw an exodus of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their states due to higher costs and heading to the greener pastures of red states. Later on, we saw that their main destination was the greenest pasture of all, Texas.
O’Rourke shouldn’t be looked at as a fluke created by tons of financial and pop-culture pressure. He should be looked at as the first pebble of an avalanche.
Republicans don’t have to accept the fact that Texas is turning purple, and should fight against it, not just for Texas, but for the health of the American economy as a whole, but they should brace for the inevitability that the coastals that have settled in among them are going to make it harder to achieve political victories in the future.
Expect more money to be spent here in Texas by the left. If it’s not O’Rourke, it will be someone else, and the left has proved that with enough time and attention, they can turn even the most sub-par candidate into something of a Cinderella, and come close to unseating one of the most popular conservatives in the reddest of states.
The battle is over, but the fight for the soul of Texas has just begun.