Beto O’Rourke Drew a Bigger Crowd Than Any Democrat Since Obama

It didn’t hurt that Willie Nelson was there, too.

Beto O'Rourke

Laura Roberts/Invision/AP

On Saturday night, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who is challenging Sen. Ted Cruz in one of this year’s most competitive Senate races, held a much-anticipated campaign rally with country legend Willie Nelson in Austin. And, well, a few people showed up:

According to organizers, the event attracted 55,000 (presumably) supporters—more than any Democratic candidate has drawn for a single event since President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail.

O’Rourke, who was once a drummer in a punk rock band, joined Nelson on vocals for a new anti-Cruz ballad, “Vote ‘Em Out”:

O’Rourke, who trails the incumbent by 4.5 points in the RealClearPolitics polling average, was originally slated to debate Cruz for the second time Sunday, but the debate was postponed late last week when it appeared senators might need to remain in Washington for weekend votes on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. No makeup date has been scheduled yet; the final debate is on tap for October 16.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.