Pour One Out for the Beto-Castro-Meter

Beto bows out gracefully while Castro hunkers down

De mortuis nihil nisi bonum, and over the weekend one could feel Beto O'Rourke's wind-whipped reputation growing sunnier once more, as the Man from El Paso bowed out of the 2020 presidential contest with at least some dignity intact, and with at least some respect from his fellow candidates, and with the Beltway Kool Kidz feeling at least a little less urgency to dunk on him just because. But even after braving mid-October headlines like "Beto O'Rourke 2020 Has Been Worse Than Useless" ... maybe he dropped out too early after all? On Monday, the UT/Texas Tribune Poll voters showed O'Rourke with 14% support in the March 3 Texas Democratic primary, behind Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. On the one hand, that's the same position Beto occupied in September, as Warren has gained and Biden slipped. On the other hand, it's far ahead of where O'Rourke polled in any other state, suggesting that if he could survive the grueling four months and four early-state battles between now and Super Tuesday, he might have a shot. He decided to not put himself, his family, and his campaign team through that ordeal, while attempting to say really loud for the folks in the back that he's not jumping into the race against John Cornyn either. So who picks up Beto's supporters in Texas, in both the presidential and Senate contests? Who does he want to?

Meanwhile, Julián Castro is parceling out his meager jug of oil and jar of meal, hoping for a miracle. The UT/Tribune poll found Castro with a puny 2% support, no better than Tulsi Gabbard in his own home state. After meeting an emergency do-or-die $800,000 fundraising goal on Halloween, Castro this week announced he's shutting down his New Hampshire and South Carolina operations, aiming to go all-in for the Iowa and Nevada caucuses – the latter being the first state with a major Latinx voting bloc to voice its choice. Early voting in Texas begins Feb. 18; Nevada votes Feb. 22.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Mike Clark-Madison
Travis County & City of Austin Election 2019: Final Results
Travis County & City of Austin Election 2019: Final Results
City propositions go down; Expo Center wins voters' hearts

Nov. 8, 2019

Austin & Travis County 2019 Election Results
2019 Local Election Results
FINAL: Both city props fail; Expo Center wins

Nov. 5, 2019


Beto-Castro-Meter, Beto O'Rourke, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Julián Castro

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle