It is way too early to pay much attention to the Democratic candidates as they tune up and take warm-up laps, but seeing Beto O’Rourke bring in over $6 million in his first 24 hours of “official” campaigning is impressive.
As of now there are fourteen other candidates vying for attention, and if my e-mail inbox is any indication, they’re all after me for money. That’s how it works. (Sorry, folks, you’re not getting any until after the Iowa caucuses, and even then.) And Joe Biden is still playing peek-a-boo with his (possible) candidacy as if the race needs to fill out every demographic that checks off the D box: women, POC, gay, young, old, ethnic, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, single-issue (climate, health care, take your pick); mash them all together into one in some transporter malfunction and you’ve got the perfect candidate to run against Trump, or at least fill out the application at the HR office of the DNC.
I don’t know if Beto O’Rourke is it, or the $6.1 million is just an indicator of a lot of people ready to cast their lot, if not their PayPal account, with someone who seems to be the antithesis of everything that Trump and the Republicans have stood for in the last thirty years: greed, xenophobia, nationalism, ignorance, bullying, hypocrisy, and self-loathing. And while the base is solidly with Trump, just as there were those who objected to Nixon resigning, the GOP numbers, both polling and actual people who identify as Republican, are shrinking. Having 93% of support in a party that represents less than 40% of the voters isn’t exactly a strong place to plant your
burning cross flag.
It’s going to be at least a year before we really know who the Democratic candidate will be, and a lot can change in a year. My estimation is by then we’ll be down to four or five contenders (any bets on who will be the first to drop out? My money’s on John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado). But after seeing how he ran against Ted Cruz in Texas, I would not be surprised to see Mr. O’Rourke still at it, still going, and that first $6 million is just the beginning.