SocraticGadfly: Beto-Bob needs to fire himself as a campaign strategerist

September 07, 2022

Beto-Bob needs to fire himself as a campaign strategerist

No, seriously, Shrub Bush reference and all.

Why is Beto-Bob doubling down on his 2018 strategery (sic) of chasing diminishing numbers of overall overall voters in hardcore rural red-dom? Especially on the issue of gunz, actual political strategists know that suburban (and exurban, like say Sherman outside the Metromess 60 miles) "soccer moms" are where the political action is at.

It didn't work then, as, legend aside, Beto didn't do significantly better in any 2018 Texas statewide election than any other Dem candidate with the "memorable" exception of Loopy Lupe Valdez.


O’Rourke lost to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz statewide by 3 percentage points, but the margin was 51 points in counties with fewer than 50,000 people — virtually the same deficit Hillary Clinton had against Donald Trump in those counties two years earlier.

Sums up the problem. It's a waste of money, and even more, in a state the size of Texas, now that we're past the Labor Day traditional start of the political home stretch, it's a waste of time.

Beto should be in the Shermans, the Weatherfords, the Conroes, the New Branfelses, the Sulphur Springses or even more, the Greenvilles, and maybe, say, the Fredericksburgs of the world. Per the photo in the story, stopping in an Abilene is fine. Per the text? Places like Quanah and Junction are not. Per a political analyst quoted in the piece? 

“O’Rourke’s commitment to campaigning in rural Texas is a reflection of the fact that Democrats can’t rely simply on urban and suburban voters and expect to win statewide elections in Texas,” said Joshua Blank, research director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin. “And they definitely can’t expect to do this while they continue to lose rural Texas by margins of 3-to-1.”

I simply disagree, per what I just said. Finding new voters in the cities I mentioned, along with doubling down on GOTV in strongholds, are a better strategery. In suburban and exurban areas, that also includes targeting the Californicators and other recent transplants. And, if they have kids, state school funding as well as gunz is low-hanging fruit.

Also, having met and interviewed Bill Brannon before, I'd not put heavy weight on his thoughts, either.

Plus, as the Chronic chronicled yesterday, at least some of the time, what's happening to Beto-Bob is he's getting his ass handed to him by raucous crowds in these places, even as he tries to very publicly backpedal from or soft-soap some of his more voluble statements from campaigns past, mainly the aborted (I see what I did there) 2020 presidential run. (This place? Muleshoe, where he shouldn't be.)

Meanwhile, at the Observer, Justin Miller interviews R.F. O'Rourke. Beto-Bob talks abortion even though post-Dobbs polling (limited so far) shows it's not a dial-mover. Miller also reminds me that, with Beto-Bob's spread-out campaign, contra Blank et al, you can't repeat a local focus once every three weeks. You can't visit Conroe in mid-August, then early September, then end of September, etc. As preachers and the like know, repetition is key to selling a message.

Oh, hit the polls at right.


Update, Oct. 22: Per my hammering O'Rourke as a bad strategerist? Abbott has an 11 point lead in the suburbs, per the latest UT poll of likely voters. I mentioned more of him needing to visit exurbs rather than suburbs per se, but the general idea applies.

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