I was asked an interesting question yesterday by a very good friend. They asked what I thought about a Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke ticket. I hadn’t thought about such a possibility before being asked about it. It is an interesting question that merits some discussion. Biden’s slump in the polls and Beto dropping out of the race makes the scenario possible. But…
The first thing we should consider is what Beto would offer Biden. On the surface it may seem like Beto could offer Joe Biden a counter to the extreme left politics being proposed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who both have taken steam away from Biden.
Biden is perceived to be closer to the center than Warren and Sanders. Adding Beto to the ticket may seem like it could counter Sander’s and Warren’s extremism towards the left. It may also push some of Beto’s supporters towards Biden.
But, and it’s a big but.
I do not believe that Joe Biden campaign would take Beto seriously as a contender.
Beto was an enigma propelled by teenyboppers hoping for a revolution. Beto was never a serious contender not withstanding the fantasies of some El Pasoans.
Beto spent about $80 million in his quest to take the seat from Ted Cruz. In other words, Beto had about $19 to spend for each vote he got in Texas. The final tally is not yet available for Beto’s presidential campaign, but he has struggled to keep up with the other candidates. Beto raised less than $20 million for his presidential quest.
Although somewhat stagnant in the recent fundraising cycles, Joe Biden has raised about $36 million for his presidential campaign, beating out Beto but behind Warren and Sanders. Beto is tapped out financially and Biden is struggling.
But that is not the biggest “but” to a Biden-Beto ticket.
Beto does not offer Biden anything. Beto is not Hispanic.
The problem is that Beto went too extreme on the gun issue. Rather than focus on the war on Latinos that resulted in the El Paso murders, Beto chose instead to focus on gun control.
But he took it too far.
Beto didn’t just want to control guns in America. He wanted to confiscate them.
Beto wanted to go door to door to take people’s guns away.
It doesn’t matter where you stand on the gun issue – the moment a politician says they will start taking private property away is the moment most Americans will have nothing to do with them.
Beto is politically toxic because of the gun issue.
This is especially true in Florida and Texas which are key to winning the presidency.
Some voters make the mistake to assume that the popular vote means anything. The fact is that it is the electoral college that puts the candidate into office. In today’s political environment, Florida and Texas are the pathway to beating Donald Trump in 2020.
Beto cannot deliver Texas. It is as simple as that.