At this time, we ask you to rise and take a moment of silence for the fallen Democratic candidates, those who have completely flamed out before the primaries even really began.
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Mike Gravel
- John Kasich
And now, a moment of silence for the latest victim of Not Being Popular At All, Beto O’Rourke.
The media has turned on Beto, with the same youthfulness he was praised for in his Texas Senate race being used as a cudgel against him in the presidential primary. He is seen as too white and rich, out of touch with voters, and completely unaware of the political reality in which he lives.
Now, the worst news possible for a candidate: No one even cares about your dirt.
— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) May 21, 2019
But 10 weeks after O’Rourke’s official launch, those requests are virtually nonexistent.
“The requests for oppo on him have completely died off,” a staffer at the oppo group said.
The lack of oppo requests suggests a larger problem looming over O’Rourke’s campaign: a visible decline in public interest. Once elevated to the top of Democratic watch-lists, the former congressman is now registering in single digits in several national polls, nosediving from 12 percent in a Quinnipiac poll conducted in March to just 5 percent in the same survey in April.
And while he’s beginning to roll out new hires in key voting states, some say he’s already fallen behind other candidates whose field operations have been interfacing with voters for months.
Poor Beto. All he wanted to do was use campaigning to travel the country and see the sites while standing on counters and shouting the Democratic Party platform at people who just want a coffee and a slice of pie. He also will have to live stream his various medical procedures to a smaller group of dedicated fans of Kennedy Lite.
He is going to try one more time, though.
O’Rourke, himself, seemed to acknowledge the flagging interest in a recent interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
“I recognize I can do a better job also of talking to a national audience,” O’Rourke said. “I hope that I’m continuing to do better over time, but we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate with the campaign that we’ve run so far.”
His next big chance will be Tuesday night, when he’ll appear in his first CNN town hall at 10 p.m. from Drake University in Des Moines. The network has previously hosted such events for several of his rivals, giving a boost to some lesser-known candidates early into their campaigns. On Monday, O’Rourke told reporters he would participate in a Fox News town hall, a general-election strategy favored by some 2020 hopefuls as an attempt to reach voters beyond the traditional Democratic base.
Here’s the problem for Beto: The CNN townhalls have had poor ratings, and their audience is largely already interested in voting against Trump but they recognize there are better candidates out there. And, while a Fox News townhall may have been a good idea for some bigger-name candidates, Beto is not going to find an audience there.
It’s tough, but it may be time for Beto to Actually, you know what? Beto, if you’re reading this, keep fighting. Don’t let the haters bring you down. You need to see this through to the bitter end. Keep that primary field alive and lively.