More Withering Beto

Setting aside poking a little fun, this number of candidates is just not sustainable.

Via the Dartmouth: Beto O’Rourke holds town hall at College.

Before O’Rourke’s entrance, a campaign staffer attempted to excite the crowd by beginning a “Beto” chant. The chant died after a few seconds, and the staffer repeated his attempt five more times.

Dedicated hype man or shades of “please clap”?

O’Rourke is the ninth Democratic presidential candidate to visit Dartmouth and the sixth candidate to host an event with over 300 attendees, according to New Hampshire College Democrats president Michael Parsons ’20. 

Setting aside poking a little fun, this number of candidates is just not sustainable.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. I think its far too early to start writing off candidates. In the summer of 2007 everyone thought John McCain’s bid for the GOP nomination was dead.

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  2. @Doug Mataconis: On the one hand, sure. On the other, with this many candidates the dynamic is different. There is no way they can all be viable.

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  3. @Steven L. Taylor:

    No, and most of the candidates polling at 2% or less are likely to stay there. But O’Rourke is not in the bottom of the back yet and a temporary setback isn’t necessarily irreversible.

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  4. @Doug Mataconis: Well, sure. But at the moment I would not be surprised if he doesn’t make to the first actual contest. I will be quite surprised if he is a major competitor in March. But things could change, of course.

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  5. al Ameda says:

    long way to go ….
    Bernie and Joe have baggage, Biden more so. The others have to prove that they have staying power. To me, Elizabeth Warren seems to have caught her stride and the 137 others are sill trying to connect on the big stage.
    …. still, a ways to go before the 1st caucus/primary

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  6. Moosebreath says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    “I will be quite surprised if he is a major competitor in March.”

    I hope he will be a major competitor in March … in the primary for the Texas Senate seat.

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  7. @Moosebreath: This strikes me as the far smarter move, yes.

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  8. Jen says:

    They’re all trying to get big audiences early to stand out–*that* is not sustainable.

    Any candidates pushing to fill halls this early–particularly in NH–will see their efforts slide because there are just. too. many. of. them.

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  9. James Joyner says:

    @Steven:

    [T]his number of candidates is just not sustainable.

    You’re certainly right but I haven’t the foggiest idea what to do about it unless we go back to party bosses simply picking the nominee. There’s no way Pete Buttigieg should be running for President given his experience level and yet he’s doing better than a dozen objectively more qualified people in the early running. And, frankly, anyone over 70 on Inauguration Day should be disqualified and yet Trump vs Biden is the odds-on favorite matchup right now.

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  10. @James Joyner:

    unless we go back to party bosses simply picking the nominee.

    I actually think that is probably the right way to go (but would need to further elaborate as to why, although I think I have talked about it some before).

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