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From the “Only negative results apply” department

There’s one paragraph in this story about Beto O’Rourke finishing a quest to visit all 254 counties in Texas that really makes me grind my teeth.

When he’s not behind the wheel, O’Rourke has proven to be a formidable fundraiser, regularly outperforming his more famous opponent. In the first quarter of 2018, he raised $6.7 million, more than any other Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate raised over the same period. But his performance in the Democratic primary in March was disappointing: Even as he coasted to a 38-point victory over challenger Selma Hernandez, O’Rourke lost several key counties along the Mexican border to the Houston activist. And a Quinnipiac University poll released last month found Cruz leading O’Rourke by 11 percentage points.

Yes, that Quinnipiac poll happened. It was also preceded by another Quinnipiac poll that gave Cruz a three-point lead, and followed a week later by a PPP poll that had it at six points. There are also clues from other polls, as well as from Congressional forecasting models that indicate a closer-than-expected state environment. But hey, mentioning that one poll showing the widest spread is good enough, because it provides a sense of “balance” or something. Pardon me for a minute while I bang my head on the desk.

As for the rest of the story, it’s fine. The subject of O’Rourke’s journey around Texas and his more in-person campaign style has been told before and will surely be told again. And as I’ve said before, we don’t really know if this is a more-effective strategy than what has been done before, but it’s not like the standard practice has a stellar track record, and this seems like as good a year as any to try something a little different. It also may be the case that this is the best method, but it is still destined to fall short. I just want us to learn the right lessons from it, whatever the outcome.

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2 Comments

  1. Manny Barrera says:

    They are having a grass roots campaign, with volunteers and paid staff working the phones and as the election gets closer pounding the pavement. But this year until 2020 everything will be national.

    But making Harris county a Deep Blue will send a message to the Trump Party. Even coming within a few points of Cruz will send a message, 2020 is coming along with a Blue Wave.

    Bill Maher may hope for a recession but, Donald Trump may be planning for that to happen so that he can become the King, https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/09/opinions/bill-maher-recession-obeidallah/index.html

    Not that Trump is smart, Putin is and he is controlling the string of the Russian cheeto.

  2. Erik Manning says:

    “Selma”. There’s a lot of bad journalism in that one paragraph alone. Do better, Texas Tribune!