No Senate candidate has ever enjoyed more glowing media profiles than has Beto O’Rourke. Even President Barack Obama circa 2004 would have been embarrassed by the saccharine, formulaic paeans.
Profiles from the New York Times, Politico, Texas Monthly, Time, and others, all hitting the same notes of O'Rourke's Kennedyesque looks, of his honest sweat in the Texas sun, and of his pickup truck (but not his drunk driving), have dovetailed nicely with viral videos intended to turn the boy wonder into a national phenomenon. Piles of money so obscenely big that they would have made even Obama blush have, as a consequence, fallen into Beto's lap.
His haul of $38 million last quarter shows that the #Resistance is not hard up for cash — it is, of course, disproportionately populated by well-heeled liberal elites — as it whips out its checkbook after reading swooning pieces such as this BuzzFeed puff piece and this New York Times column where Frank Bruni cooed, “Count me among the swelling ranks of the infatuated. I, too, have been Beto-struck.”
O’Rourke’s cash haul is put into perspective by his poll numbers. The "swelling ranks" have not actually swollen past 45 percent, while Sen. Ted Cruz averages over 50 percent. In the last two polls, by New York Times and Quinnipiac, Cruz has led by 8 and 9 points. So, while swelling may be what Bruni is doing, it does not appear to be a symptom among voters.
In short, the electorate doesn't line up very closely with liberal media opinion pushers. They and swells of Act Blue, Abolish ICE, Friends of the Pod, and #StillWithHer have plenty of disposable income, but they don’t have the majority of the public, especially not in Texas.
Ironically, the main argument of the Left and Democrats these days is that they are the real majority. When they’re not busy fawning over O'Rourke or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they’re crafting intricate arguments to explain why the good guys aren’t in power.
It must be because of gerrymandering! (The worst gerrymander in the country is in Democrat-run Maryland, and Republicans won the “national popular vote” in the House in 2016.)
They excoriate voter ID laws. They hate the very existence of the Senate. They posit they’d be better off if the Supreme Court didn’t exist.
Democratic and progressive panjandrums are convinced that democracy means them being in power. Yet, despite Democrats outraising Republicans by more than $100 million, polls suggest Republicans are likely to keep control of the Senate.
Democrats had a hard time accepting the results of the 2016 election; some are still in a state of denial. They point to Hillary Clinton’s larger minority share of the vote like players on a losing baseball playoff team pointing out that they scored more runs while winning fewer games. After losing badly in the 2014 elections, Obama riffed about the people who didn’t vote.
The Left seems confused about the fact that their leaders may not be the rightful holders of power. How could their guys raise so much money, garner so many glowing profiles, dominate the yard signs in Austin, and win so much praise from every tastemaker unless their side was the real majority?
What lesson will they take from this episode? Maybe just that they need to spend even more money in Texas.