The past two years have certainly invigorated the political climate. The Trump administration has been mired in one scandal after another, and Democrats have been victorious in races in Alabama, Virginia and many others. It seems that candidates who are similar to Beto O’Rourke are giving Republicans a run for their money in states that have been solidly red for years.
The activism that is driving this trend has had an impact on many people, but the ones who are most affected by it are people who live in places where their voices go largely unheard. These places are small pockets within red states, and they have had enough of being thrown by the wayside. President Trump’s tax plan that benefits the wealthiest among us and does nothing for the rest of the country is going to be the reason that several states turn blue.
A Chance to Turn Texas Blue
One person who supports the blue wave that is coming is Beto O’Rourke from El Paso, Texas. He has served three congressional terms, and he is set to challenge Ted Cruz in this year’s mid-term race. Most people don’t believe that O’Rourke has a chance of unseating Cruz because Democrats haven’t won a senatorial race in Texas since 1988.
Texas’ senators are both members of the Republican Party, and 25 out of 36 seats are held by Republicans. Texas has 11 representatives, but they are all confined to a small area in Houston and San Antonio, so Republicans are representing most of the state. For the first time in 35 years, voters will have at least one Democrat to vote for in all 36 of this year’s congressional races.
Democrats have been dreaming of turning Texas blue for years, and if O’Rourke succeeds, he will have done what hasn’t been done in almost 30 years, but it isn’t going to be easy. More people vote for Republicans than Democrats in Texas, and Democrat voters do not tend to vote in mid-term elections.
Special Considerations for Beto O’Rourke
One problem for O’Rourke is the fact that most people have never heard his name before, so it is going to be difficult for him to raise money. O’Rourke has been the underdog before, and he is not afraid of that status. He hopes to appeal to the underdogs of his state, such as the veterans who can’t get adequate healthcare, communities on the border, the jobless and those who feel that their concerns are being ignored. He is also targeting those who are looking for a politician who is accountable and accessible to them rather than their “Big Money” donors.
Although O’Rourke is not well-known and isn’t accepting donations from large donors, he has raised more money than Ted Cruz these past three months. O’Rourke succeeded in raising $2.4 million, but Senator Cruz only raised $1.9 million. Last year, O’Rourke raised more money than Cruz in the second quarter, and Cruz raised more in the third quarter, but this does not mean that the two are raising comparable amounts of money.
Senator Cruz currently has $7.3 million, and it came from the large donors whom O’Rourke is not allowing to support him. O’Rourke has also refrained from applying for loans that would finance his campaign, so he only has $4.6 million in his coffers.
End Citizens United Endorses O’Rourke
The fact that O’Rourke turned down the cash offered to him by “Big Money” donors made him the darling of the political action committee known as “End Citizens United.” End Citizens United’s mission is to get “Big Money” out of our political elections and fix the political system so that it works for all of us. The PAC plans to do this by helping to elect individuals who support its agenda like Beto O’Rourke. A poll that End Citizens United commissioned showed that Ted Cruz was only ahead of O’Rourke by 45 to 37 percent.
Ted Cruz appears to be happy with his chances of winning his race, so he isn’t paying any attention to Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke, on the other hand, is continuing to campaign and hoping that he can attract the voters whom Ted Cruz has alienated, and there are a lot of them. He was the one who interrupted his first term in office to campaign for the presidency. He is also in the pockets of special interest groups, political action committees and large donors.
At the moment, Beto O’Rourke has a long way to go, but he does have 10 more months, and with the help of End Citizens United, he may have a chance.
End Citizens United came into being on March 1, 2015 after the Supreme Court announced its decision on Citizens United. The organization’s President and Executive Director is Tiffany Muller. The PAC is headquartered in Washington, D.C.