He rides a skateboard, he rocks a wicked air drum solo, and he isn’t like other politicians because he is a cool politician. So goes just about every puff magazine profile of Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat running against the dorky and dour Republican incumbent, Sen. Ted Cruz.
In a word, O’Rourke is just so damn likable, especially when compared to the competition.
Or at least that is what we have been told by everyone from Rolling Stone to President Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
Too bad it isn’t true. Not in Texas, anyway.
According to a new University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, Cruz is actually cooler than O’Rourke. Fifty-one percent viewed the long-winded conservative favorably and 44 percent viewed him unfavorably. Meanwhile, the liberal darling has a net unfavorable rating, with 46 percent favorable and 50 percent unfavorable.
This will come as a shock to newsrooms everywhere. Magazine writers from New York and D.C. have been falling all over themselves to hang out with O’Rourke, like he was the cool older brother they always wanted. Those same journalists have rolled their eyes at the dopier and pudgier candidate on the ballot. That may be how they manufactured Democrats' fundraising black hole of 2018 — a long-shot candidate who has already set new records in out-of-state money, yet appears to be, at this point, on his way to a very expensive loss.