Beto O’Rourke was the Democratic darling this election cycle, but it wasn’t enough to get him into the Senate. Despite raising more than $100 million, O’Rourke still came up short in his bid to unseat homophobe Ted Cruz.
O’Rourke was never ahead in the polls, so his loss wasn’t exactly a surprise. But it is a bitter blow to progressives (and supporter Beyoncé) who saw the candidate as the future of the Democratic party.
O’Rourke was a sharp contrast to Cruz. For one thing, he was unabashedly pro-LGBTQ, while Cruz has happily hung out with a pastor who wants gay people to be executed and pursued a virulently hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda.
Cruz is also the antithesis of hip, whose efforts to make fun of O’Rourke’s rock band past only proved him to be the perfect young fogey for Republican voters.
However, Texas being Texas, being a homophobic creep was no barrier for Ted Cruz’s re-election. While Cruz has ceded his title as the worst man in Washington to Trump, he will now have six more years to inflict his brand of ultra-right bias on the nation.
As for O’Rourke, he probably has a bright future ahead of him. He may not have been the dragon slayer this time, but the fact that he came within just a few percentage points of a Senator who should never have been in a tight race makes O’Rourke a hero nonetheless.