Friday, November 1, 2019

Bye-bye Beto as O'Rourke drops out

I made the mistake of betting against FiveThirtyEight's predictions in the drop out draft in last month's Au revoir Tim Ryan as Ohio Representative retires from race.
Speaking of acknowledging the panel's predictive power, the top six picks in the drop-out draft are now out, leaving Beto O'Rourke, Steve Bullock, and Michael Bennet.  Beto is on the bubble for making the next debate, needing two qualifying polls during the next three weeks.  He might make it.  However, I have my doubts that he will drop out next.  I think that's more likely to be Julian Castro, who has no qualifying polls and is behind both Beto and Tulsi Gabbard.*  My readers and I will find out in three weeks when the candidates qualifying for the November debate are announced.  In the meantime, six down, three to go.
I was wrong and FiveThirtyEight's panel, specifically Geoffrey Skelley, who picked O'Rourke, was right, as CNN reported Beto O'Rourke drops out of 2020 presidential race earlier today.

Beto O'Rourke is ending his 2020 presidential bid, saying his campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully.
The reporters mentioned both money and the inability to make this month's debate as factors in O'Rourke's decision as well as what he will will do next.  All of that also appeared in CBS News' Beto O'Rourke ends 2020 campaign, which took a more analytical view of the news.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the 2020 presidential campaign, writing on Twitter "let us continue to fearlessly champion the issues and causes that brought us together." Democratic analyst Joel Payne and Republican analyst Leslie Sanchez joined CBSN to discuss.
The analysts mentioned Pete Buttigieg's presence in the contest along with Mayor Pete's criticism of O'Rourke at last month's debate as contributing reasons for O'Rourke's decline.  So did the panel at FiveThirtyEight, appearing a few paragraphs in.
geoffrey.skelley [Geoffrey Skelley]: Alright, I think there’s an easy pick that I would take if we had four rounds, but given we only have three picks, I think I’m going to go for my sleeper choice: former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke. I think it’s possible that he might actually consider running for Senate again. He’s polling at 2 percent nationally with no obvious path for improvement, and he’s even worse off in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Not to mention, O’Rourke abandoned the campaign trail to go home to El Paso after the mass shooting there. So if I squint, I can see him deciding to drop the presidential bid for a more winnable race — at least in terms of his party’s nomination. At this point I think he would be much, much more likely to win the Democratic nomination for Senate in Texas than the presidency, and given his performance in the 2018 Senate contest, maybe he could even win the general. He’d be an underdog, but he’s been there before.

nrakich [Nathaniel Rakich]: Yesssss. I’m so glad someone chose him!

Mostly so I wouldn’t be tempted to waste my own pick on him ;-p

But I totally agree. O’Rourke has been home in El Paso helping his community heal. And that’s the kind of campaign break that leads to self-reflection — maybe the people at home are the ones you’d rather be trying to help.

To be more crassly political, it might also be a chance to step back and see that your campaign has been a pretty big flop so far — after you entered the presidential race expecting to be one of the four or five front-runners.

sarahf [Sarah Frostenson]: Right, has anyone experienced a bigger flop in the polls?

nrakich: At one point, O’Rourke registered in the double digits — sometimes in third place! — in some polls right after his announcement. Now he’s at 2 points in the Real Clear Politics average.

geoffrey.skelley: Pete Buttigieg’s campaign really stepped all over O’Rourke.

sarahf: Right, and Nate wrote about this last month, but something tricky about O’Rourke is that his base (young, white, moderate Democrats) is smaller than you’d expect, so he’s running to attract a segment of the party that isn’t all that big to begin with. It doesn’t help that he’s faced stiff competition in candidates like Buttigieg or Warren in trying to diversify his appeal.

nrakich: O’Rourke also seems to be a guy prone to a lot of soul-searching. So if any candidate who has already made the September debate (as he has) is going to drop out for personal reasons before then, I bet it would be him.

geoffrey.skelley: And while he’s not leading in most Texas presidential primary polls, he still does OK, so I think he could successfully pivot to the Senate race. Anyway, I wouldn’t take it to the bank, but his leaving to go to El Paso really made me wonder if he might drop out.

sarahf: Good pick.
It was.  Congratulations!

Right now, their picks stand at seven down, two to go.  Now to see if my pick of Julian Castro drops out before or after Steve Bullock and Michael Bennet.  My readers and I should find out shortly after the November 13 deadline for the next debate.

Follow over the jump for the drinks and memes I'm retiring now that O'Rourke is out of the race.

First, my drink suggestion from Drinks for the Democratic debates, Part 1.

Beto O'Rourke used to be a hacker, so I suggest Hacker-Pschorr beer.  At least it's not an IPA.

Next, the memes and infographics of his ideological position, beginning with's take on the Democratic presidential candidates from left to center.

The two Texans in the contest tie with an economic score of 18.  Of the two, Beto O'Rourke has the second highest social score with a score of 88, ranking him under only Sanders and Mike Gravel, while Julian Castro is closer to the center with a social score of 78.  Despite the clear difference in social score, On The Issues rates both as Hard-Core Liberals.
That was obsolete with Seth Moulton and Jay Inslee dropping out; now all of the candidates on it have retired from the race.

Next, the meme from On The Issues shows most of the Democratic candidates have moved left during the campaign, too.

The two Texans in the contest did not budge in either of their ideological scores.  Both Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro remained tied at an economic score of 18.  O'Rourke kept his social score with a score of 88, while Castro stayed at a social score of 78.  Since June, a third candidate has joined the two Texans with an economic score of 18, Pete Butigieg, who has moved five points to his left economically and seven points to the left socially for a total of twelve points, second only to Williamson in total score change.  O'Rourke, Castro, and Buttigieg were tenth, eleventh, and fourteenth or eleventh, twelfth, and fifteenth, counting Sestak in June.  The ranking is now O'Rourke, Buttigieg, and Castro in thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth now that Swalwell has dropped out.  Either way, O'Rourke and Castro have become less liberal relative to the pack while staying constant in their scores, while Mayor Pete has moved up in the rankings.  As a result, On The Issues has changed his classification from  Populist-Leaning Liberal to Hard-Core Liberal.
That's another obsolete meme just from Inslee dropping out.

Finally, the most recent meme I made for Democratic candidates continue to drift leftwards according to On The Issues.

Beto O'Rourke moved to the left economically from 18 to 15 but became more moderate socially from 88 to 83.  That put him in the same spot as Andrew Yang, who held in place with an economic score of 15 and a social score of 83.  In O'Rourke's case, that moved him left from thirteenth to tied for twelfth.  In Yang's, it dropped him from eleventh to tied for twelfth.  Once again, staying in place will get one passed.
On The Issues wasted no time in moving O'Rourke to "withdrawn candidates," where his economic score is unchanged at 15 but his social score has dropped to 80, making him more moderate socially.  It, along with all of the candidates dropping out, would have changed his rank, but now I'm not going to bother.

Once again, bye-bye Beto!  Good luck on your future activism!

That's it for the Democratic primary contest.  Stay tuned for my annual entry on Daylight Saving Time endingDaylight Saving Time sucks!

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