Texas Democrats, yet again, are trying to make Beto O’Rourke happen. Yet again, he’s not happening.
This time, O’Rourke is running for governor of the Lone Star State against incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. As in his 2018 Senate campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz, Beto has been billed as the Great Blue Hope that will start turning Texas Democrat.
“Texas Gov. Abbott’s lead over Democratic challenger O’Rourke is narrowing,” NPR reported on Monday, arguing that “an abortion ban and the school shooting in Uvalde may have shifted the odds in the governor’s race.”
Just as in 2018 with Cruz, O’Rourke may be narrowing the polls, but that’s only because he’s coming from a long way down and they aren’t narrowing by much.
According to RealClearPolitics’ aggregate data, Abbott still held a 6 percentage point lead as of Tuesday morning — and the numbers have been consistent since surveying began last summer. Just because the last poll that had Abbott up by double-digit numbers was a University of Texas survey in April doesn’t exactly mean O’Rourke charging hard toward the governor’s mansion, particularly in a Republican-friendly year.
It also doesn’t mean Texas is turning blue, or even purple. O’Rourke found this out the hard way during a Friday visit to Rockdale, a town 40 miles west of College Station. The city was part of his “Drive for Texas” tour — where, according to Waco’s KWKT-TV, “he will spend 49 days on the road and visit every part of Texas this summer.”
“O’Rourke has spent a lot of time in very red areas on this 49-day road trip like Milam county, despite not being very popular in these areas,” KWKT said of the Saturday event.
Yeah, you’re telling me. This is what Beto and his campaign wanted you to see from the Rockdale event:
Met dozens of first-time voters at yesterday’s three town halls in Bastrop, Brenham, and Rockdale!
Great to see so many people getting registered and involved. pic.twitter.com/2vq1ZHzGdz
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 6, 2022
Rockdale on a Friday night! One of the best town halls we’ve had.
This is why we show up for everyone, everywhere. pic.twitter.com/YkG2Gzmsg4
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 6, 2022
However, the visit turned into one of those “How it started/How it’s going” memes once Beto moved outside the campaign-controlled confines of Rockdale’s Kay Theatre.
Human Events senior editor Jack Posobiec tweeted a video of the scene:
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
BREAKING: Beto just got run out of Rockdale, Texaspic.twitter.com/JHSV1FwIsV
— Jack Posobiec 🍊 (@JackPosobiec) August 8, 2022
The video Beto leaving the hall with police officers acting as escorts, while a group of Abbott supporters with placards followhim to his pickup truck (an electric or a hybrid, I’m sure). They’re essentially running him out of town to the tune of Kid Rock’s “We the People.”
“We the people in all we do / Reserve the right to scream ‘f*** you / ‘Wear your mask, take your pills’ / Now a whole generation’s mentally ill,” the lyrics to Mr. Rock’s anti-Biden anthem read. The chorus? “We the people (ooh, let’s go Brandon).”
Posobiec wasn’t the only one to notice the dissonance between this scene and the whole “boy, that Beto’s really making a race of this one” narrative being peddled.
Beto O’Rourke got run out of Rockdale, Texas.
Does actually think they’ll elect him Governor? 😂
— Benny Johnson 🍊 (@bennyjohnson) August 8, 2022
Protesters greeting Beto in Rockdale, Texas. This dude will be unemployed in late November. pic.twitter.com/JKcyGo8Gjs
— The W&J Show w/ Kenny Webster (@WaltonNJohnson) August 8, 2022
In other news, someone at “The W&J Show with Kenny Webster” struggles under the misapprehension that Beto is somehow employed. “Serial failed candidate” is not a real job and the last time O’Rourke held elected office was early January 2019, when his time in the House of Representatives came to a close.
Keep in mind, too, that these were people who merely came to see him off with a big fat raspberry. They weren’t there to hear his speech, in the kind of carefully organized, much-publicized campaign event that makes up a political appearance.
No matter how many supporters Beto could pack inside the Kay Theatre, what’s more striking is the number of opponents who showed up outside of it merely to let it be known how emphatically they dislike him. Considering Rockdale’s total population is just over 5,000, that’s no small turnout to turn Beto out.
The footage — along with the anti-Beto protesters’ choice of Kid Rock’s “let’s go Brandon“-echoing anthem — demonstrated why, yet again, Beto is piloting a doomed ship of Democrat donor money to the bottom of the political ocean.
Take KXXV-TV’s coverage of the event, which made sure to note that “[t]he race for Governor has become close after Abbott’s response to the Uvalde shooting.”
“Beto O’Rourke is known for his pro-choice stance and for demanding change in Texas gun laws,” the article noted, before pointing out that the polling “gap is smaller than when Republican George W. Bush ousted Democrat Ann Richards in 1994.”
Notice the year — 1994, a wave election in which Republicans took control of both houses of Congress in response to the President Bill Clinton’s rocky first years, a situation that sounds oddly familiar.
Notice, too, the reason KXXV — and so many others — credit for Beto’s rise in the poll: His “demanding change in Texas gun laws.”
Or, as O’Rourke said on stage during a 2019 Democrat presidential debate, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
In 1994, George W. Bush won during a wave election for the Republicans. In 2018, during a wave election for the Democrats, despite a massive influx of cash and the mainstream media casting Ted Cruz as the most unlikable politician since Caligula, O’Rourke still lost, 51 percent to 48 percent.
Back then, he also wasn’t telling people he was going to take their rifles, either. That tends to get gun owners out to the polls — not a small cohort in Texas, and not known for being particularly liberal.
But for some reason, in the mainstream media and on the left, hope always springs eternal when it comes to progressive candidates in Texas’ statewide elections — particularly when it’s Beto, it seems.
More than any other state, Texas is known for its love of the gridiron. Perhaps, then, it would profit some pragmatic soul with the national Democratic Party to make a visit to state headquarters with a blown-up “Peanuts” comic to talk some sense into everyone.
They should point to Charlie Brown: “This is you guys.” They should then point to Lucy Van Pelt: “This is Beto O’Rourke.” Finally, they should point to the football Lucy is holding: “This is every statewide election.”
Then repeat it.
Maybe the party will get the point then. Or maybe it will keep trying to make the kick happen. Whatever the case, Beto’s reception outside the Rockdale event ought to have demonstrated why, yet again, it’s not happening.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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