The race between Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic upstart Robert “Beto” O’Rourke was virtually tied at 9:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. But Reuters News Agency on Tuesday afternoon decided to call O’Rourke a winner — no matter the race’s outcome.
The international news service told its 20 million Twitter followers that “Win or lose, Beto O’Rourke set to emerge victorious.” In a two-minute video, Reuters simply declared O’Rourke a winner.
A narrator says O’Rourke’s “breakout bid … has dominated the 2018 elections like no other race,” showing a crowd chanting: “Beto, Beto, Beto!”
“Political veterans say if the skateboarding El Paso congressman even comes close over arch-conservative Cruz, his political future will just be taking off.”
“Reuters political reporter Tim Reed, who’s assigned to cover O’Rourke, then addresses viewers directly,” Fox News reports.
“Even if Beto O’Rourke loses his Senate bid, he still emerges a winner, as does the Texas Democratic Party,” Reed says. “I’ve traveled to Texas a couple of times in recent weeks and the energy surrounding his campaign has been huge. He’s been drawing crowds in Texas that no Democrat has drawn for many, many years.”
The rest of the clip fawns over O’Rourke’s savvy social media operation and his supposed ability to rack up a massive war chest “while refusing to take outside money,” in the state of Texas where “Registered Republicans still outnumber Democrats by hundreds of thousands.” That claim, however, is in some dispute, and even Politifact has labeled it “half true.”
Reed labels O’Rourke a “national phenomenon,” noting his campaign buttons and shirts are popping up nationwide – not just in Texas.
“While he has dismissed talk of a future White House bid, many people in the Democratic Party would love him to run,” Reed says as the profile concludes.
Reuters has tweeted the same video with a variety of messages including: “Democrat Beto O’Rourke has put up a strong fight in Texas that could reverberate well beyond Election Day.” In another post, the news service says O’Rourke has “dominated” the midterm conversation.
In the end, Beto did lose. But hey, everyone’s a winner nowadays, right?