This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go for Beto O’Rourke. Beto was a superstar in the making – an attractive, charismatic, authentic, progressive Democrat who excited the Texas electorate, grew the Democratic base in Texas and got younger people out to the polls. But it wasn’t enough. Beto lost a nail-biter in his Senate race last night. Ted Cruz won re-election, and that’s just the worst. It would be one thing if this Obama-like candidate – which Beto clearly was – lost to an extremely popular Republican with a broad base of support. Ted Cruz is incredibly unpopular in Texas and outside of Texas. His Senate colleagues hate him, Republicans writ large loathe him, and I’d be willing to bet that many of the Texas voters who supported his re-election don’t even like him that much.
Of course there are positives – Beto gave the Democratic Party a blueprint for running competitive statewide races in Texas. His organization will live on in 2020. He’s still a charismatic future leader of the party. And even though he lost, he still had coattails – two Democrats gains in the House races in Texas, and several of the Republican congressmen who did win re-election only did so by the skin of their teeth.
Beto came out when the race was called and gave his concession speech to a tearful crowd. During the speech, he dropped an f-bomb! He told his supporters and campaign workers “I’m so f–king proud of you guys.”
We just want to say thank you to everyone who made this possible. Everyone who made us feel hopeful, everyone who inspired us. Everyone who became the most amazing campaign we could have ever hoped to belong to. Grateful that we got to do this with you. We love you. Goodnight! pic.twitter.com/1j6JnhtP0f
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) November 7, 2018
Oh, and Beyonce endorsed Beto on Election Day, with just hours left to vote.
Photos courtesy of Getty, Instagram.