— mimi swartz (@mimiswartz) October 16, 2018
The sign in the newsroom of the Austin-based, politically prescient Texas Tribune has been up for several months. It reads, “Days since a national Beto O’Rourke profile:” The number, as of yesterday, was zero.
O’Rourke has been this election’s Prom King for the Mainstream Media, with New York progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez playing the role of Queen.
After a presidential election in which salt of the earth voters in flyover country asserted themselves and fomented a huge upset, the MSM is swooning over a New York socialist and a guy in Texas who hates guns.
It would appear that these people don’t get out much.
Even liberal Texans are provincial and easily irritated by outsiders:
Beto fever has reached malarial levels on both coasts, too. It is impossible for a Texan to visit Manhattan or Los Angeles or Washington or Seattle without being cornered by some near-delirious soul who wants to know if Beto really has a chance.
For a Texan, especially one who leans left, this situation can be disconcerting. It’s nice to feel so much enthusiasm for a Texas race, but the implication, subtle though it may be, is that Beto is the only living human who might be able to save Texas from itself.
Political fundraising has morphed into a national affair for individual donors in the 21st century. Even smaller donors look to contribute to races in other states. With a little bit of hype the right candidate can bring in more money from all over America than he or she could have just a decade and a half ago.
That’s how Texas liberals end up with candidates that they know can’t win but get written about as if they can. Nothing excites those making editorial decisions in the MSM quite like a “turn Texas blue” article. It’s practically unisex Viagra for the leftmedia. The Beto stories we are reading now are just repackaged Wendy Davis stories, now with a male cast as the lead.
That kind of scrutiny-free, relentless PR translates into a lot of money. Here’s how that is working out:
In recent days it has been reported that his fund-raising in the last quarter reached $38 million, more than any in other Senate race in history — and that he is trailing Mr. Cruz by nine points in the latest Quinnipiac poll.
As with Wendy Davis, the overwhelming amount of the money pouring in is coming from people who don’t vote in Texas.
Record money hauls make for a good story or two but, as we have seen with so many self-funded rich candidates over the years (Michael Huffington, anyone?), money doesn’t always do the trick.
The media-created frenzies may actually hurt the Democrats. There was a lot of talk in 2014 that Wendy Davis may have been pulling national donor dollars away from races that were more viable for her party. That same thing is now being brought up regarding Beto.
After 2016 I don’t rule out any possibilities in an election. I am, however, fairly certain that Texas won’t be turning blue merely because people in New York are opening their checkbooks a lot.