In the latest 2020 Democratic primary polls, Beto O’Rourke registers. In some cases, he commands less than 1% support, down significantly from just a month ago, when, right out of the gate, O’Rourke out-raised Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders within the first 24 hours of his campaign.
It seems Beto O’Rourke has noticed, and after trying to reconfigure his platform to appeal to far-left voters, he’s now pledging to completely rehabilitate his image, “reintroducing” his 2020 campaign in a last ditch effort to move back up in the polls, the AP reports.
“O’Rourke plans to step up his national media appearances after skipping most of that kind of exposure in recent months. He is scheduled to appear on MSNBC’s ‘Rachel Maddow Show’ on Monday night and ABC’s ‘The View’ the next day,” the AP says. “He’s also set to offer more concrete policy plans on top issues. So far, he’s issued just one, on climate change.”
Even his climate change proposal met with swift condemnation; it is merely a stripped-down version of the “Green New Deal” offered in Congress last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA).
Other than his two scheduled appearances, AP reports, O’Rourke will remain in a “quiet period” for the next week, taking an active role in reassessing and reconfiguring his presidential campaign ahead of the Democratic primary debates, which are slated to take place in late June or early July.
Although his campaign aides aren’t admitting that there’s a “Beto 2.0” in the works, as the AP calls it, O’Rourke acknowledged, at a sparsely attended campaign stop in Iowa last week, that his presidential campaign hasn’t been one for the record books.
“I think, in part, I was just trying to keep up when I first started out,” he said. “I really feel like I’ve found my rhythm and my pace, and I just feel comfortable, and I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
O’Rourke’s campaign has reportedly suffered from “disorganization,” but there are also clear problems with the candidate. He was considered a breath of fresh air in Texas when he ran against Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), but on the national stage, he was quickly eclipsed by rising star, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, whose resume and platform are far more polished than O’Rourke’s, even if Buttigieg is less experienced.
O’Rourke has also struggled with exactly where he falls on the ideological divide. Although he initially marketed himself as a moderate, he’s lately embraced positions associated with the very far left, including impeachment. In just the last week, O’Rourke has announced support for forcing non-union workers to pay union dues, has pledged not to take any more money from businesses and donors associated with the fossil fuel industry, has claimed that 60 million Americans are currently without clean water, and injected himself into Buttigieg’s campaign by “defending” the newcomer from anti-LGBT protesters.
After all that, O’Rourke fell to less than 2% in the Monmouth University poll. By Sunday, O’Rourke had fallen further. He is not, according to CNN, polling above 3% in any of the early primary states.
He clearly has a lot of work ahead.