Beto O’Rourke was the talk of the town when he officially announced his run for the presidency several weeks ago. Things have changed. He was in Iowa last week and had trouble filling a room.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Beto O’Rourke hits ground truth in Iowa as enthusiasm flags
Beto O’Rourke saw firsthand what it’s like to be just another presidential candidate during a sleepy town hall event Sunday afternoon as the enthusiasm and star power he sought to generate hit ground truth in Iowa.
O’Rourke, 46, a former Texas congressman, started 30 minutes late, and the University of Iowa student union ballroom remained less than half filled as the candidate gave his pitch to fewer than 120 students, families, and retirees before taking questions. Many of those were not committed to O’Rourke.
A number of attendees remarked to the Washington Examiner that O’Rourke’s crowd was smaller than they anticipated, particularly in a city of 75,000 with a major university. The crowd was less than half the size of audiences drawn by O’Rourke’s rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, at similar events in smaller towns.
See the photo in the tweet below:
— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) April 8, 2019
It looks like Beto-Mania might already be fading away.
Reality bites Beto after high-flying kickoff
Between the prom proposal from a young admirer, the long lines for photographs and the conservative tracker recording his every word, Beto O’Rourke had all the hallmarks of a top-tier candidate during his latest swing through Iowa.
Yet by the time he left the state on Sunday, it was also clear that the euphoria that greeted O’Rourke’s entry into the race three weeks earlier has started to subside. The inevitable slog of competing in a packed Democratic primary is underway, and O’Rourke has not yet drawn the wave of national adulation from the left that his Senate run against Ted Cruz last year received.
“He’s going to have to do the work,” said Scott Brennan, an Iowa Democratic National Committee member and a former state party chairman. “And it isn’t all breathless, 300-person crowds.”
O’Rourke has seen little movement in polls since he announced.
This shouldn’t be too surprising. The guy is an empty suit.